Along with her success as an actor and musician, Mandy Moore has experienced emotional challenges including depression and sensitivity.
“A few months ago I felt really low, really sad. Depressed for no reason. I’m a very positive person, and I’ve always been glass-half-full. So it was like someone flipped a switch in me.”
She says her recent split with Zach Braff “added to what I was going through, but it’s not the complete reason. It definitely doesn’t help if you’re already in that place.”
Moore, at 22, also spoke of some of the existential issues she is exploring:
“I’ve been going through this really crazy time in my life – it’s what I imagine people fresh out of college go through. I’m asking myself life-altering questions, like Who am I? Where do I fit in this world? What am I doing, what do I want to do? Am I living to my full potential?” [Jane magazine, Feb 2007]
Gifted and talented people are more likely to ask those kinds of questions, and may experience feelings discussed in the article Existential Depression in Gifted Individuals, by James T. Webb, Ph.D. As he notes, “existential depression arises when an individual confronts certain basic issues of existence.. [such as] death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness.”
Mandy Moore has commented in earlier interviews about her sensitivity:
“I’ll cry at anything, even a tissue commercial. I’m overly sensitive. It’s so easy to hurt my feelings.” [allstarz.org/~mandymoore/]
“I’m extremely-extremely sensitive. I can cry at the drop of a hat. I’m such a girl when it comes to that. Anything upsets me. I cry all the time. I cry when I’m happy too.” [absolutely.net]
“I’m really overly sensitive. I get my feelings hurt very easily, and sometimes I just cry for no reason, and I hate that.” [malaya.com March 21 2004]
Many people equate high sensitivity with exceptional ability. But in her article The Highly Sensitive Child (and Adults, Too): Is Sensitivity the Same as Being Gifted?, Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. writes that in her experience, “not all highly sensitive people are gifted. That is, at least as adults, many HSPs are not expressing some talent in a way that others would recognize as outstanding.” She also notes high sensitivity occurs in 15 to 20 percent of the population, but a smaller percentage are considered gifted.
But sensitivity is a trait shared by many highly talented, if not gifted, actors and other artists like Moore, and may be part of what makes them so creative.