In 1990, I sent Alex a trick I had invented that I thought he might be interested in (it used an unusual application of the binary number system).
In 1995, 15 years later, I received a very nice, handwritten letter from Alex, aplogizing for not writing back sooner. He said he had been suffering from depression, had run from all things magicial, and was now writing, "many long overdue letters of apology."
He then went on to give me several wonderful ideas about my trick.
I've worked in the music business for a long time and I've seen my share of these problems. My theory is that a creative artist feels best and most alive creating or performing. The downtime can never duplicate those feelings, so becomes, truly, time to be down. Some artists can cope, some can't.