The Sensitive Among Us



It’s not the same as clinical depression, but it does share some qualities, and it’s not a surprise that our great comedic geniuses (the late Robin Williams, who was also bipolar) and artists are tinged with feelings of sadness, despair, darkness.

Some of our great comedians display such sensitivity – not just Robin but also the late Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock – you know, folks who have the ability to be hilarious while also delivering razor-sharp criticism, either about our social world or through self-deprecating humor (Robin was quite adept at the latter).

And then there are those artists who can tap into that blues residue and deliver the soul through their art – like visual artists like Van Gogh or vocal artists like Billie Holiday.

davidIt’s this feature of deep-seated melancholia that really drew me to the Voice.  David has that wonderful ability to not only soothe (as I recently posted) but to drive you to tears.  He has this uncanny ability to tap into that source of despair and release it so tenderly in song.

So, it is because of this why I wouldn’t dare make blanket statements or assumptions that he does not suffer. I don’t know him as a person, only as a public persona and musician.

Just like I would never have guessed the tears behind the face of a clown (like Robin Williams), I won’t make any guesstimates about David’s mental or emotional health. We just don’t know. A smiling face might mask a world of sadness, and a hyper-active comedian who makes me ROTL may be suffering severe depression.

What do any of us know?

All we have is their art.  And we can only respond in awe and wonder that such brilliance transcended anyone’s pain or joy at that moment of creativity.

We are all the better for it when such sensitive souls (because that’s what the great artists are – truly sensitive to the senses, to others, and to the world) share a piece of their soul with us.

Posted on August 12, 2014, in current events, public image. Bookmark the permalink. 96 Comments.

  1. I do not have a huge breadth of knowledge of great artists in any of the arts but it seems to me, based on my limited knowledge, that many many great artists were and are tortured souls. That is where their genius comes from, I think.

    I go back to David pre-mission. I truly thought he was living his dreams. Turns out he may not have been to some degree at least. We really don’t know what is behind the smile.

    • If you don’t understand what has commonly happened to idols, then I don’t know what will fill you in.

  2. Beautifully put Hg. I especially loved this:

    All we have is their art. And we can only respond in awe and wonder that such brilliance transcended anyone’s pain or joy at that moment of creativity.

    We are all the better for it when such sensitive souls (because that’s what the great artists are – truly sensitive to the senses, to others, and to the world) share a piece of their soul with us.

  3. Thanks! It’s important to distinguish between what we see and what we don’t see and what we can concretely point to (usually the art).

  4. fabulous post HG.. a bit scary to think David might be suffering in some way hope that isn’t the case or at least if so he is getting the help and support he needs.

    that being said what a fabulous quote!

    David Archuleta @DavidArchie · 20m
    “Build a team– success is a team sport. No one can do it alone. Let people be in your life the way you try to be there for them.”

  5. Shanny and Rooster, thank you for understanding my post from the previous thread, and having the courage to post it. Having re read my post, I cannot imagine how any rational person could have reacted as violently as some of the posts I have read today. I was citing the unfortunate self inflicted death of a very famous and successful entertainer as a cautionary tale, and was not using it to attack fans of David on this site. Again, thanks for speaking up. It’s not easy to do in the face of such venomous organized hatred and vile name calling.

    Maybe all these “sensitive” people who were so offended by my post will now start to treat David with the appropriateness and respect that they felt I lacked last night. Otherwise, their outrage is just for show, and meaningless.

    • “to no one’s surprise, you completely miss the point of my post”

      “your childish perspective”

      “or enlightening you, which I realize is impossible”

      “your fellow schoolgirls will join you in your outrage”

      • Cynicism masquerades aswisdom,but it is the farthest thing from it

      • Whaddyaknow, what’s your point? Are those words too offensive for you. If so, you’re definitely on the wrong site. Were you offended that I was called a “fool” and a “psychopath”? I’m still waiting for your outrage over my being called a “Circus Bitch” I forgot who called me that. Was it you?

      • The point is that the tone of the responses you get is very likely to echo the tone of your comments. I called you a “psychopath” after you had called me an “idiot”. Tit for tat. You think that you have the right to say anything but the responses should always be polite

    • Oh my yes, you are once again the victim

      • No Anne, I’m not a victim and never said I was. You and the others have been the ones who feel they have been bullied and badmouthed by me and have pointed that out whenever it has been convenient to do so. You can call me whatever you want, but when you do, you or whoever else loses all claims to being offended when they think they are on the receiving end.

  6. the funamental cause of trouble is that the stupid are cocksure, while the i ntelligent are full of doubt

    • Rooster, very true. However, in the case of this site, I have no doubt.

    • Rooster, are you sure about that? haha (couldn’t resist)

      • oliveoil i doubt this site is all for david,for your info that quote was not from me but (bertrand russel,philosopher ),but i do know this site is anti man .and realy is a vires. seams to me to be full of old ladies wishing they were young again.

  7. well it sound like david is putting a new band together or record label with a new team, david still has not working on new music yet, well he did 2 songs so far right?

    • Rooster, I hope you know I was just being playful. Your comments always seem thoughtful and respectful of David . 🙂

  8. In the past, I’ve shared some personal things relating to the topic of this thread, but I see that this is definitely not a safe place for that anymore.

    • CCHalo, feel free to share whatever you want. The notion that I am some sort of insensitive attack dog is a lie. If I weren’t sensitive, I wouldn’t be so offended by some of the things I read here about David. You would be shocked by how I am nothing like the person I am portrayed to be on this site.

      • Oh no, not at all, you just happen to think that “you may want to consider absenting yourself from the discussion altogether, since we have already had your anti- LDS point of view shoved down our collective throats countless times, statistics and all”

      • You may not use the word “victim” but you sure cry a river of “victimhood” in your posts.

        I do apologize for calling you a name on the last thread. That is beneath me even when provoked to the point of wanting to scream. There is no excuse for name calling and I am sorry I did so.

      • Shanny in Australia

        Whaddyaknow, weren’t your very first posts here at SD, attacking Bliss? And although while you seemed to have softened your approach a little, it still seems that you’re still only here to ‘get’ Bliss.

        (And just for the general record…..Yes, I think Bliss rattles cages – and I’ve told him that I think he should tone it down – but he sure isn’t the only one doing it. And the ‘he started it, she started it’ doesn’t help anything. I know it’s hard here sometimes. Maybe if we ALL tried to be a little nicer……)

      • Whaddyaknow just got attacked for posting actual quotes from bliss and not much more. I think it’s hoisting bliss with his own petard.

      • Bliss is here to ‘get’ many people but that doesn’t seem to bother you. My comments are based on quotes from actual comments or other sites when Bliss is contradicting himself or conveniently forgetting facts which is often. Let’s get back to this when your “if we ALL tried” comments also include Bliss

      • Whaddyaknow, as I said, I think Bliss would do well to tone down the way he says things, I also think there have been instances when he’s overly focused on particular posters, but I do think he is by and large, as he said in his own words….an equal opportunities offender. Lol. He might rattle the cages, he may even enjoy the thrill of the argument, who knows, but whether you agree with him or not, he is here crusading for change, he’s not here simply to ‘get’ someone.

        Plenty of people get upset at Bliss. They give tit for tat. I’m not saying people shouldn’t feel upset or shouldn’t speak up if that’s what they feel. However, the difference is while some people here do hit below the belt sometimes, they at least seem to be here for genuine reasons.

        Your posts are different. You seem to be here just to ‘get’ the person you don’t like. And being here to simply ‘get’ someone as you seem to be, is pretty low and mean in my books.

      • I’m “mean and low” but Bliss says he’s “on you like white on rice” to people because… he’s fun and cute?

      • The point is that he’s trying to change something that isn’t broken. People post hopes, wishes, ideas and speculation, but bliss’ posts always seem to include rants about selfish, entitled fans with every kind of imagined ill-intent. A poster can be talking, in a very reasonable way, about David’s vlog revealing his unhappiness, and next thing you know, they’re being accused of calling David a liar and being personally insulted, for example.

        The discourse here is actually pretty civilized when he’s not here. It’s a battleground when he is, which tells me that it’s all about him, not about the various posters trying to put a stop to it.

    • When I’m feeling defensive in behalf of myself or others, I have often been able to take Shanny’s very excellent advice that “if the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.” Perhaps if everyone here would assume that because the shoe doesn’t fit, no response would be necessary–then perhaps the attacks wouldn’t escalate.

      But the problem really is that when we feel free to post our thoughts and theories, the disagreement inevitably comes along that is specific and personal and not only distorts the points being made but demeans the poster to boot. So: ‘Feel free to share, as long as you don’t say anything I might possibly find unacceptable.’ No thanks.

      bliss, I sometimes think that you like to participate in the kind of discussions that take place here without battling all of the time, but I might be wrong. It would be nice to see what it might be like to have a discussion without saying anything bad about the person with whom you’re disagreeing, no matter how heinous you think their point may be. Just, “Well I don’t agree with that and here’s why…..”

    • I still do believe that everyone has the right to share their thoughts, opinions and stories and I hope you will not stop.

      • Thanks, cq. (I assume you mean me). I plan to post, I just have to make good decisions about whether it’s time to say, “Gotta go now!”

        I could take a page out of David’s book. When people would say outrageous stuff, he used to go, “What?” And then leave.

      • Yes, cchalo, it was I meant you and I glad you plan to post.

  9. From that last tweet from David, hum, I’m wondering if is happy with the songs he has been working on and is ready to move forward. That’s the way I see it, of course, jmo, could be totally not related to his career at all..I’m very ready for some new music from the VOICE.

  10. “Build a team– success is a team sport. No one can do it alone. Let people be in your life the way you try to be there for them.”

    I hope this doesn’t mean there will be yet another “mgr” tweeting away into the ether.

  11. Wonderful post hg. Well written and and very thoughtful. I am going to assume that David means his career (even if he does not) when he mentions needing a team. I have been commenting for a long time that David can’t have a successful career by himself and he needs at team behind him. David needs the right team behind him for a music career that includes: a music label,management team,producers and songwriters -to name a few. So great news if that is what he means. 🙂 Hope that David goes to the JT concert tonight. I would love to go. 🙂

  12. HG – I have a question for you, maybe you have already answered this in the past but I missed it. Apologies if that’s true.

    This is the statement posted on the “front page” of the website:
    A Few House Rules

    The subject of this blog is David Archuleta. No topic is off limits, but always be respectful of both David and each other. Any comments containing personal attacks WILL be deleted.

    But personal attacks are not deleted as far as I can tell. Maybe if they were, we could actually talk about constructive things?

  13. Watching all the media coverage for Robin Williams tonight. So talented and it is so sad.I just checked and interesting that Kari re-tweeted David’s comment about the need to build a team to have success but Gina did not. Could mean absolutely nothing but just interesting. David seems to have a real close connection to Kari- which I think is a good thing for him. 🙂

    • Marie, yes, might not mean a thing about Gina not re-tweeting, but interesting all the same. I sure (omo) is comfortable with Kari, but the Gina/David connection, a bit of a mystery. I guess she still is his manager.

  14. Returning to the topic about melancholia & depression. I don’t presume to know if David suffers, or has ever suffered from depression. What I can say with some positivity is that he has an idea what it must be like to be in the brink of a dark abyss. What it feels like to be slowly dying inside, not wanting to go on but desperately wanting someone to save them. He wrote about it. The only song he’s ever written solely by himself, music and lyrics when he was only 14 years old! He said he wrote it to know what the family member who took their life may have been feeling or going through. How it felt to be “Falling”.

    It’s too bad the majority of David’s fans thought the song was to dark. Of course it’s dark & sad but for those who are suffering, it’s a comfort to know someone understands. David understood.

  15. Im not 100% sure but I thought I read somewhere that David did say he was depressed…back when he was diagnosed with Vocal Cord paralysis and he thought he wouldnt be able to sing anymore? Anyone else remember reading/hearing something similar?

    • Nope. I’m sure he was like zippity doo dah — I can’t sing anymore!

    • Candy maybe it was in the COS. I do remember that, very sad time of his life.

    • I remember that when there were behind the scenes rumors, before the mission announcement, that he was depressed, fans of course scoffed at the rumor. He had always been so bouncy and so happy, and doing really good things for others, who could imagine? Now he tells us that he, in fact, was struggling, and it reminds us that you can’t tell such things from appearances.

      Kara Dioguardi recognized the “cry” in David’s voice. And we can’t really know if it’s from the struggles he’s had in his life, or if it’s part of his gift alone.

  16. Let see if this video of Falling posts. Really deep lyrics for a 14 yr. old Amazing.

  17. Songs like Falling is what I mean about David not limiting himself, very edgy. NOTHING to do with sex or raunchiness.

  18. Shanny in Australia

    Candy, I don’t think he said he was depressed but his description of that time – and the fact that he describes as a really difficult time in his life, leads a person to believe that he could have experienced depression at that young age.

    Lol….as I always say. The guy is human. He has feelings.

    I remember saying I thought the first part of Begin was about David’s pain and it was a very unpopular opinion, to put it mildly. Lol. Others insisted that the entire album was about him loving people and wanting them to feel good about themselves. I’ve often reflected on that since, and have felt that I have to leave room for that possibility. Likewise I wonder, in light of post-mission information, if anyone has softened their view towards my opinion that the first half of Begin is about David’s pain?

    • Beating a dead horse, perhaps, but why, then, did he change the “Beautiful” lyrics to “You are beautiful” from “I am beautiful”? It would seem to be avoidance of talking about himself.

      • Lol….well I have a response for that question but then it would just be repeating the futile ‘discussion’ about it that we all had many months back. I will take it that your perspective hasn’t changed then lol. Thanks. I was just wondering what people’s perspectives were now. Wasn’t meaning to re-open cans of worms. Lol

    • BTW, I’m not sure which are the two halves of the BEGIN. album, because I just have the random songs on iTunes at this point. But I’m curious which ones you distinguish as being about his pain vs. the ones about helping others and why.

      • The first half….

        Somewhere only we know
        Everybody hurts
        Don’t give up
        Bridge over troubled water

        He said this album was about why he decided to go on a mission.

      • Oh sorry cc. I obviously didn’t read closely enough and didn’t give the right answer.

        Short answer….I think Somewhere only we know, everybody hurts, don’t give up and Angel are about his pain. Beautiful and bridge over troubled water could be debateable. The rest, I think are about sharing God’s love, or at least reminding people they are of great worth.

        My 2 cents anyway.

      • Lol….sometimes I know I’ve misspelled a word but don’t fix it. Don’t know why I do that…..? Lol

        Other times, I’m probably just oblivious to my misspellings. 😉

      • As an artist that’s known for his empathy, I’m sure he has put a lot of his own feelings into this album in particular, despite it being mostly covers. I’d have to give it some thought to see if I agree how much the song choices might be more reflective of personal pain.

      • Ha ha. I always type a first draft, hit “post” and THEN stress over misspellings, bad grammar, and wrong punctuation (one of which ended up on the front page at FOD today). I don’t usually notice it in others, unless the meaning is changed.

      • Yeah, I don’t notice those things much in others either, or if I do, don’t care.
        As for myself, I think I probably just get lazy and subconsciously just think…’oh well, I’m among friends’.
        After all, it’s not like I’m editing a thesis or something…

      • I remember listening to Begin over and over, first because I love the songs and the VOICE, lol. I know he said that it explained, or something that affect why the mission discussion, so of course, tried to figure out what he was trying to say. In a general broad scope, I just got out of the songs that he needed to go on the mission in order to move on with his life and would regretted it for the rest of his life, if he didn’t go. No matter what my feelings are, I’m so very glad he followed his heart. I also am so grateful he recorded that glorious album, love it.

    • Btw, I’m genuinely curious. My ideas on the matter have mellowed, I was wondering if other”s had also?

  19. OLIVEOIL<sorry i apologies, i took it in the wrong way

  20. So sorry about the “private” video. I emailed the owner of the video who I met at a couple of David’s concerts. She’s a fan who’s no longer visible on the net but still “here” she said. She said it should not be private. Hope it’s good to watch now. But if not, thanks Marie for following up with another video.

    Also as a follow up, I’m another one who can relate to what it’s like to have bouts of severe depression. But it passes.

    Good night now. 🙂

  21. It is good now. Thanks Senseless. 🙂

  22. Oh I forgot to say, I really hope David did get to see JT live in concert. Maybe it will put the fire back in him to get back on the stage sooner rather than later. It’s not as if he doesn’t have music he’s yet to perform live….BEGIN & Forevermore???

    Now I have to go. Early day tomorrow. Major changes at work…uh-oh! 🙂

  23. Rooster, no problem. 🙂 buenos noches.

  24. Rainbow Butterfly

    to write a song like Falling at that age is so extraordinary! so many of his songs should have been huge radio hits! who’s to blame? the radio stations or his labels? will we ever find out? wonder if david knows who exactly tried to undermine him and why? 😦

  25. Rainbow Butterfly

    if david is or was depressed, he certainly hides it well, which is disturbing and sad. didn’t one of marie osmond’s children commit suicide? a supposedly happy mormon family. 😦

  26. Rainbow Butterfly

    shanny, Lol! i’m an english teacher. when i’m on the internet grammar and punctuation is the last thing i care about. it’s bad enough i have to spend most of my time correcting people when i now know how little it matters.

  27. OMG, too funny! Little Saigon is here in Orange County not far from Irvine.

  28. Rainbow Butterfly

    omg cc! that is ******** hilarious!!! david must be in a good mood tonight! 🙂

  29. Good thing the fighting faded away as the thread got longer :))) it was…. Tiring in someway to watch.

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