What are some geniuses with mental illness

"Genius and madness": writers particularly at risk from mental disorders

Stockholm (Sweden) - Exceptionally creative people are more prone to certain mental illnesses. The largest study carried out to date has now analyzed in more detail for which groups of people and types of illness this applies in particular. Swedish researchers compared the incidence of different diseases in scientists and professional artists and their relatives with that of people in other professions. According to this, all creative people taken together only have a higher risk of developing bipolar disorder. Especially for writers, however, the susceptibility to several other diseases, including schizophrenia and depression, is also significantly increased. However, there is no general connection between creativity and all forms of mental disorders, write the scientists in the "Journal of Psychiatric Research".

"In psychiatry and medicine in general, illness is seen in categories of black and white, and efforts are made to treat the patient in such a way that everything that appears to be pathological is eliminated," says lead author Simon Kyaga from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Regarding mental disorders, it is advisable to rethink therapy because certain aspects of an illness could also be beneficial. In such cases, says Kyaga, the doctor and patient would have to agree on whether treatment at the expense of creativity is even desirable.

The study evaluated data collected over a period of 40 years from nearly 1.2 million people who had been treated for mental illness. The results confirm that creative people are generally more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder, a change from depressive and manic states. However, this relationship did not hold for other forms of the diseases studied, such as autism, depression, drug addiction, anorexia, and hyperactivity disorder. Compared to researchers, photographers or dancers, writers turned out to be particularly at risk. These people were at increased risk for schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse. They were also 50 percent more likely to commit suicide than their peers who did not work creatively. The IQ apparently does not play a role in the connection between creativity and mental illness - at least not in men. No analysis was possible for women due to the lack of available data. It therefore seems unlikely that geniuses are more likely to go mad than normal creative people.

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