Self-doubt and unreliable income can wreak damage to susceptible artistic people. Authors and other artists are vulnerable, are exposed to rejection, and rely on a certain level of intellectual success to validate their occupation. Not that this is not true for any other job, but writing seems to be burdened with the public perception that it must succeed: it must include a degree of noteworthiness, if not outright fame and fortune. When expectations are dashed, or achieved only slowly and painfully, it is not only the authors themselves who question the validity of what they do, but those nearest and most intimate with them. Perhaps that is why male authors, who do not always manage to make enough to sustain a family, are traditionally more affected.
Benedicte Page, in her Guardian article last year, wrote that writing was one of the top ten professions 'in which people are most likely to suffer from depression'. She also observed that male authors with the complaint outnumbered female ones. Reasons stated were the isolation, self-examination, introversion and subjecting one's work to scrutiny. Anyone who has ever written anything creative can relate to these aspects.
family dysfunction, substance abuse and inertia. Experiences, ideas and stories that run deep into a person's psyche are all magnified when it comes to one who writes, because rather than strive to subdue them, ignore them or pretend they do not exist, authors need to dredge, dig and remember. They need to rouse and elicit all that lies in their heads and hearts just to be able to frame what they write on some basis. Even if they write pure fiction, the personal element is never absent.
Perhaps it is useful to regard moods as necessary in the life of a writer: a series of hills and troughs, with their attendant feelings of alternating doubt and determination, melancholia and joy, despair and elation. If one sees there is gathering and collecting of material - of emotion - during the low moods, and great production and creation during the jolly fruitful intervals, one can face anything. Most importantly, one can face that keyboard with courage.