As someone who was diagnosed with clinical depression (or is it bipolar these days?) at 21, I've often wondered what effect it has on my desires and abilities as a writer. When my mood is at its lowest and it's all I can do to drag my arse out of bed of a morning, it comes as no real surprise to me that I have neither the desire nor ability to write. But the surprising thing I'm learning is that while being moderately depressed (a wish not to socialise, feelings of vulnerability, etc) are proving to be when I'm at my most creative and eager to write, I'm far less inclined to experience these emotions and desires if my head is in a relatively good place. It's true to say that the things which help me into a better place, mentally, are the kinds of things which are going to greatly restrict the time I have to write anyway, such as the benefits system insisting I attend a full-time maths & English course because, apparently, it's not OK to sit at home on your arse all day doing nothing. Such courses force me into a daily routine, and to socialise and communicate face-to-face with others. I resent them, but they're healthy. My only real concern is that I feel less of a need to write during these times, and I really don't like that one bit. Many will already be arguing that this mean I can't possibly have any real desire in the first place, but I know this simply isn't the case. Whatever the catalyst for my desire to write, its power doesn't come from nowhere.