Connection between creativity and mental illness
Recently, the connection between creativity and mental illness was finally defined, as studies show the there is an undeniable link between being creative and thus thinking differently than the majority of the people, to showing signs of being mentally disturbed to a certain extent.
The strange connection between the two aspects of a person’s psychic structure relies on genetic components, according to the journal Nature Neuroscience.
The study was conducted in Iceland and over 86 000 people took part in it, persons belonging to such areas of society such as musicians, painters, writers and related professions, generally artists. And the results were striking, namely that 17% of the persons in question studied, showed more chances of developing mental disorders, in comparison to regular people.
Researcher Kari Stefansson argued that the studies represented no surprise for her, because creativity is always a proof that you are different somehow. Sometimes, unfortunately, in a negative sense. As everything is based on genetic predisposition, the chances of facing schizophrenia or bipolar disorder is quite increased among this segment of the population.
The same study was conducted in Netherlands and Sweden, were 35 000 people were tested. The results were even more compelling, showing that almost 25% of the studied people were prone to develop some form of mental derangement.
However, Dr. Alan Manevitz, a New York City based psychiatrist, was a little skeptical about the study and stated that there the question of ambiguity regarding this study, emphasizing the fact that there was a huge difference between people that considered themselves to be creative, and others that actually worked in the respective fields.
Creativity is not irrational and it definitely occurs in rational thought structures while a full psychosis will surely deteriorate a person’s state and alter his creativity as well, he later added.
As a conclusion, only genetic variants responsible for mild forms of mental disorder still allow the person to continue to lead an artistic, creative life, as more serious ones would damage this thought pattern in an irreversible manner.
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