Ari Meghlen published a fascinating and educational blog post, written by Tobias Salem of writing about a character with depression. I found the post very useful and highly interesting. Thank you Ari and Tobias.
Since I don’t have a guest post today, I thought I would put in one of the A Writer’s Guide articles I received since this series is going to be put on hold for a while, I wanted to share the last few I had.
This is part of the series of blog articles called “A Writer’s Guide…”. The purpose of this series is to give detailed information on skills and occupations that writers can use when creating characters.
Check out today’s article by writer Tobias Salem is on writing about a character with depression.
by Tobias Salem
It makes sense that, as writers, we may be expected or feel compelled to include accounts of psychological illnesses in our fiction. Maybe, like me, you are dealing with your own mental illness.
Or, perhaps, it’s your partner, parent, sibling, or child. After all, an estimated 25% of the global population will contend with a mental illness at some point.
2 thoughts on “A Writer’s Guide… to Writing a Character with Depression – On Ari Meghlen’s Blog”
He does speak around it but does not clearly establish that there is a difference between being depressed and having depression although the symptoms may be similar even the same. Being depressed is mental illness rooted in psychological issues which may be treated with talk therapy and medication. Having depression is a physiological mental illness due to chemical imbalances which distorts our apprehensions of life. It also may be treated with talk therapy and medication. So there is a difference between psychological/emotional issues and issues initiated by physiological/chemical imbalances. Many of us, including myself, have been plagued with a combination of both for most of our lives. Unless an author is a psychiatrist or psychologist or a doctor in mental healthcare with qualified expertise to be writing medical thriller fiction it is recommended that an author not get too deep into the science of it all and his characters may suffer symptoms which affect behavior and not go beyond that. So many of us suffer various ranges of depression and being depressed the illness is a type of character flaw that may appeal to readers who can identify with the condition but I would leave it to the mind of the reader to interpret the particulars and not let depression command the story line. Being sympathetic to ordeals of characters is a good hook for readers.
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Thank you so very much for sharing your thoughts and experiences, Carl. I really appreciate your valuable view on this subject. It is very helpful.