Depressed teens more likely to make art

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Depressed teens
Are artists and musicians depressed more often than their peers, or do people with depression gravitate toward the arts?

This is one of the chicken-and-egg questions that plague medical researchers. But a new study from Boston College does show that teens who take art, music or drama lessons are more likely to be depressed.

Leslie Mann reports for the Chicago Tribune: “Previous studies have shown higher incidence of psychological disorders — depression, attention deficit disorder, substance abuse, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders among adult artists,” said Laura Young, the study’s lead author and a researcher at Boston College’s psychology department. “When you hear that more novelists suffer from depression, for example, or more painters are bipolar, that’s not just anecdotal. Studies have supported this. But this is the first study of this size to review these links among teens, and in America.”

The study focused on “depressive symptoms,” asking teens if they experience sadness, poor appetite, difficulty concentrating, depressed mood or lack of energy.

The study included teens ages 15 and 16, Young said, because “at this age, they’re more likely to be in the arts willingly than there just because their parents made them go.
The study is in the November edition of the American Psychological Association’s journal, Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts.”

Read on at the Chicago Tribune

Photo from yd84.