Artists are known for being unconventional people. The impulse to be creative and to take that creativity seriously as a craft and an art form is found in a unique type of person. An artist’s personality is unpredictable, vibrant and passionate, and many people are drawn to it. An artist’s personality can be problematic, however, particularly in the areas of mental health and addiction. The same personality attributes that make an artist interesting and vigorous can also be the same attributes that prompt them toward addictive tendencies.
Artists are naturally very sensitive people. In order to observe the world as they do and interpret it into art, they have to be. They are also very colorful and unconventional, wanting to test the limits of their understanding and their imaginations. While these qualities are incredibly positive in many ways, they are destructive in others. An artist’s natural curiosity leads them to addictive substances and activities, and in experimenting with them, they get hooked. An artist’s sensitive nature often leads them to having mental disorders and undeveloped coping skills. The pleasure feelings of addictive substances and activities become a much simpler escape from stress than healthy coping skills are. It is not long before an artist feels dependent on the activity or substance in order to feel normal.
It is known through out arts communities that artists are more prone to addiction than other professions and personality types. Many arts communities are directly connected to the addiction services networks in their region and hold support group meetings of their own, specifically for artists. Many artists who have struggled with addiction have recovered from it through personal commitment and quality addiction treatment. Others have lost their livelihoods, their personal relationships, their sense of purpose and even their lives. Addiction is devastating to people regardless of what background they come from, but for those who are willing to work, there is hope. If you or an artist you care about is struggling with addiction, connect with the network of addiction treatment services in your area.