There’s something to it though, the ‘tortured artist’, and I speak from experience. I suppose I should ask first, what exactly do you mean in your title when you ask “does depression drive creativity”? Does it drive the quality of the creative ideas we have? Or does it drive our will and desire to create? I can’t speak to the former; perhaps depression does lower the overall quality of work we do, but that’s also a pretty subjective discussion to have. What I can absolutely confirm though, is that I have rarely felt more driven to be creative than when I’ve been down and depressed about something.
I think depression can contribute to creative impulses, because often times (at least, in my case) we are depressed by something. Depression is a strong emotion, and so if we figure out what that something is, we have a subject, and some very strong feelings about it. A subject + an opinion means we have something to say, and as creative people, our preferred method of communicating is through a creative medium often times.
That’s been my experience at least, so I wouldn’t totally dismiss the tortured artist as a “myth”. Love and agree with all your productivity points though. Cheers.