The relationship between depression and creativity is often romanticized as the key to creating good art. It’s been called the dark side of creativity, or the key to genius. There’s hundreds of think pieces online about how depression can supercharge your creative endeavors, but do those think pieces actually hold any weight?

The short answer is yes but it’s complicated. It’s one of the world’s most common mental disorders and creative types are proven to be the group most affected by this disorder.

Psych2Go’s new video breaks down the relationship between creativity and depression. By citing many different studies on depression, the video highlights the nature of the very complicated relationship. Many studies suggest that creative people are more exposed to the causal effects of depression while others suggest that depression causes creativity.

It’s hard to find a streamlined relationship between creativity and depression. The truth is that the two things are so inherently tied to one another that it’s impossible to determine cause and effect, although they do seem (at least on the surface) incredibly related.

Jared Greenhouse