Virginia Woolf: The Link Between Creativity And Mental Illness

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Register to read the introduction… Virginia’s mother unexpectedly passed away at the age of forty-nine when Virginia was only thirteen. This tragic loss led to Virginia’s first mental breakdown. Unfortunately, Virginia’s half-sister Stella passed away two years after her mother. In 1904, Virginia’s father passed away as well when Virginia was twenty-two. The loss of so many loved ones caused great misery. Shortly after the passing of her father, Virginia experienced her second mental breakdown, and she was sent to a mental institution to recover (“Virginia Woolf” Society). When Virginia was released, she became acquainted with the Bloomsbury Group, a club for intellectuals and artists, through the connections of her sister, Vanessa, and brother, Adrian. Virginia joined the Bloomsbury Group and met a man named Leonard Woolf. Leonard was a Jewish writer, and he instantly fell in love with Virginia. They were married in 1912. Once they were married, Leonard encouraged Virginia to write and supported her through everything. (“Virginia Woolf” …show more content…
She would become euphoric and talk constantly. Her rambling would become incomprehensible, worsening by the day. After a few days, not a single word out of her mouth could be understood. When depression would take over, she would convince herself that her illness was her fault. No one could change her mind. She was convinced that she would never recover, and her pessimistic outlook made things worse. Virginia began to hear voices as a young adult. It was difficult for her to focus, read, and write. Her most intense depression occurred between the ages of thirty-one and thirty-three, and her loved ones feared permanent insanity. Severe attacks forced Virginia into hospitals for many weeks. These years were among her least …show more content…
Her mood swings were not a direct result of her unpleasant childhood years, but her traumatic childhood may have increased the severity of her illness. However, the loss of so many loved ones at such a young age led to her depression. Virginia was completely unproductive during her depressive attacks. She produced her best work in between these periods. Her illness was not entirely negative; she used it as inspiration for novels throughout her life. Virginia incorporated her most personal experiences into her most disturbing and depressing novel, The Waves. (“Psychiatric”; Leaska viii-ix). While Virginia was writing what would be her final novel, Leonard noticed how severe Virginia’s internal struggle truly was. She “sunk into a bottomless pit” (“Virginia Woolf” Biography) during the production of Between the Acts. Because he was Jewish, Leonard was in danger of being captured by the Nazis, and Virginia was in constant fear of losing him. On March 28, 1941, Virginia walked to the River Duse, filled her overcoat pockets with rocks, and drowned herself. Leonard had Between the Acts published posthumously (“Virginia Woolf”

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