Creativity and Mental Illness are Linked

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 19, 2012

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Creativity and Mental Illness are Linked

English author Virginia Woolf had walked into the river Ouse with stones in her pockets, thus killing herself; and throughout history we have known how creative people have always been depressed and on the brink of self destruction. Now according to researchers from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, people in creative professions are more often diagnosed with a mental illness than the general population. This large scale research study tracked almost 1.2 million patients and their relatives, even identified down to second-cousin level.


[Read: Types of Mental Disorders]


The study that took Swedish population into consideration from the recent decades have revealed that certain mental illnesses like the bipolar disorder are found to be more prevalent in people who are in artistic or scientific professions like dancers, researchers, authors, and photographers. From this group, authors were found to be more at a risk of getting psychiatric diseases like schizophrenia, depression, anxiety syndrome, and also substance abuse. Authors were also found to be 50% more likely to commit suicide compared to the general population. It was also observed that people whose relatives were affected by schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anorexia nervosa, and also to some extent, autism.


[Read: Treatment Options for Schizophrenia]


According to Simon Kyaga, consultant in psychiatry, the result of this study can prove to be of great help; as if one thinks that certain phenomena associated with a patient’s illness could help in the treatment then it opens the way for a new approach to the treatment.


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