|dc.description.abstract||Madness and art are two concepts that are quite often historically interrelated. The term “madness” designates various mental ailments, depression being one of them (major depressive disorder or depressive episodes in their various forms and diagnostic categories). The prevalence of depressive disorders is common among poets, who find therapeutic value in writing poetry. However, a number of poets turn to suicide as a last resort in order to end a life full of emotional suffering.
This dissertation focuses on the study of the lives and works of four suicidal poets who suffered depression: Raúl Gómez Jattin, Rodrigo Lira, Ángel Escobar, and Julio Inverso. Natives of four different countries in Latin America, these authors belong to the last two decades of the twentieth century. This study demonstrates the importance of poetic discourse to the depressive poet by contributing to current research on this disease as demonstrated by the use of introspection throughout the creative process. That is, the poet with depression finds relief from the progression of his depressive symptoms by exploring emotions and subsequently exposing his feelings. However, when the word, due to its semantic load, is employed with emphasis on its negative connotation, the effect strongly results in the worsening of the mental condition.
Comorbidity of psychiatric disorders is conspicuous. Thus, depression alternates with other mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and substance abuse. This is the case with the poets investigated in this study, as two (Lira and Escobar) suffered from schizophrenia in addition to depression, while all four suffered from addiction (alcohol and drugs). Concomitant diagnoses were the trigger for each of these poets to commit suicide. It was also found that in the case of depression, writing poetry was no doubt beneficial. However, when depression was compounded by other mental disorders, the
therapeutic capacity of poetry was found to be relative.||