Saturday, 15 December 2012

Creativity and madness

From "The Psychologist", December 2012 - Simon Kyaga et al (Karolinska Instiutet, Sweden) has compared the occupation of over a million mental health patients over a 40 year period. The conclusions were that

  • "people in creative professions, such as musicians, artists and scientists, were no more likely to have a mental health diagnosis than people in non-creative professions, such as accountants, with one exception - bipolar disorder"
  • "first degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and possibly autism, were more likely than healthy controls to be in creative professions"
  • "In contrast with creative professions as a whole, focusing only on authors revealed a far stronger link with mental illness. Authors, compared with controls, were more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, drug abuse, and to take their own lives"

For more details, see the Journal of Psychiatric Research Volume 47, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 83–90

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