Part of what makes being an artist so unique is the basic necessity to challenge preconceived notions. Be them blatant or subtle, the notions themselves. One notion that I find myself fighting consistently is that of the diminished capacity in those with a mental illness, just because they have a mental illness. Mental illness is no different than any other illness, there are those that have a diminished capacity and those that are highly intelligent. Just because the illness is mental does not make it and intellectual deficiency. Nor does it make the illness imaginary. It simply means that the illness is mental. Those with depression or PTSD are not intellectually defective, many have higher than average IQs. In fact, it is believed that depression is more prevalent in those with a higher than average IQ. Making those with mental illness the more intelligent of the bunch. So those with a mental illness process the world differently, isn’t different a good thing? Aren’t we, especially as an artist, dependent on the different? Aren’t we all in search of something “different”? Something new? Perhaps we should put preconceived notions aside and stop assuming that there is only one right way. Perhaps I, as an artist, can shine some light on those preconceived notions and dispel the falsehoods abound in them. So I put forth, for your edification, this: As with any illness there are those that are ignorant and of diminished intelligence, but not all of them are. It is not a condition of the illness. It is, however, indicative of above average intelligence to be depressed, which is a form of mental illness. Do not judge. Instead, research, educate and edify.