Creativity suppression

Creativity suppression is a decrease in both a person's motivation and capabilities when performing tasks that involve producing artistic output or novel problem-solving. [1] This effect may be particularly frustrating to deal with for artists of any sort as it will induce a temporary creative block.

Although creative subjects paradoxically more often have a history of depression than the average, their creative work is not done during their depressions, but in rebound periods of increased energy between depressions. [1] [2]

Creativity suppression is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as depression [3] , anxiety, and emotion suppression in a manner which further decreases the person's creative abilities. [1] It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of antipsychotics [1] [4] [5] . However, it can also occur due to SSRI's [6] and during the withdrawal symptoms of almost any dopaminergic compound. [5]


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  2. Jamison, K. R. (1989). Mood disorders and patterns of creativity in British writers and artists. Psychiatry, 52(2), 125-134. |
  3. von Hecker, U., & Meiser, T. (2005). Defocused attention in depressed mood: evidence from source monitoring. Emotion, 5(4), 456. |
  4. Moncrieff, J., Cohen, D., & Mason, J. P. (2009). The subjective experience of taking antipsychotic medication: a content analysis of Internet data. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 120(2), 102-111. |
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    Szmulewicz, A., Samamé, C., Caravotta, P., Martino, D. J., Igoa, A., Hidalgo-Mazzei, D., ... & Strejilevich, S. A. (2016). Behavioral and emotional adverse events of drugs frequently used in the treatment of bipolar disorders: clinical and theoretical implications. International journal of bipolar disorders, 4(1), 6. |
  6. Bolling, M. Y., & Kohlenberg, R. J. (2004). Reasons for quitting serotonin reuptake inhibitor therapy: paradoxical psychological side effects and patient satisfaction. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, 73(6), 380-385. |




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