I too am Mork

 

I am too sensitive for this world

Your words bloody my mind

do you see your damage?

 

I am too creative

see me and laugh

do you realize my truth?

I am too intense

my depth is an ocean

you dare not submerge

I am too active

chain me with restrictions

shut me down with meds

I think too much

prevent my questions

protect your comfort

 

Who is my tribe?

Where are my people?

I am an alien in a land of normal.

 

I was struck deeply with the news of Robin Williams' passing. Even though it has been several weeks since his passing, I mourn the passionate and creative spark that he gave so lovingly to all of us.  This poem, written part in grief and part in the lack of acceptance many gifted individuals experience, is meant to highlight intensities that when not accepted will lead to the person feeling out of place in this world.

I would like to share Dr. James T. Webb’s August 12th post from LinkedIn: “The brightest, most creative individuals often suffer from depression, as did Robin Williams who died yesterday of an apparent suicide. His death was a tragic loss to us all.

I have no doubt that he was a highly gifted man who struggled with existential depression. His intensity, sensitivity, and search for life meaning, characteristic of so many gifted people, permeated his life. This was evident in his movies like Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting that portrayed the social and emotional needs and conflicts of gifted and talented people who struggle in a search for idealism and excellence in a world of mediocrity that so often seems uncaring and that fails to understand zany creativity that helps us laugh at tragedy. In his idealism, he was disillusioned many times, and he wrote about it candidly, including how he used alcohol to numb himself from his pain. Many other bright and creative minds like Robin Williams are facing similar struggles. I hope we can help them find a better solution so that they don't feel like Mork from Ork waiting for a mother ship to come rescue them from this strange world.

The existential depression components of bright and creative children and adults need to be included in prevention and treatment, and good information is available in books and in online articles. Mental health providers often know about existential depression, but they are less familiar with how it relates to bright minds.”

Does depression occur more often in the gifted population? Overexcitabilities certainly intensify a gifted person's experiences. However there doesn’t seem to be an answer either way. One thing is for certain – understanding the signs is important. Here are some article resources:

Depressive Disorder in Highly Gifted Adolescents by P. Susan Jackson and Jean Peterson

http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articles/depressive-disorder-in-highly-gifted-adolescents

Existential Depression in Gifted Individuals by James T. Webb

http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articles/existential-depression-in-gifted-individual

Depression and Suicide

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/depression.htm

How often do you feel like Mork?