Creativity linked to mental illness: Study


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Authors, please note! People in creative professions are treated more often for mental illness than the general population, there being a link between writing and schizophrenia, according to a study. Researchers from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden in a large-scale study tracked almost 1.2 million patients and their relatives, identified down to second-cousin level.

The study incorporated much of the Swedish population from the most recent decades. The results showed that certain mental illness - bipolar disorder - is more prevalent in the entire group of people with artistic or scientific professions, such as dancers, researchers, photographers and authors.

Authors also specifically were more common among most of the other psychiatric diseases (including schizophrenia, depression, anxiety syndrome and substance abuse) and were almost 50% more likely to commit suicide than the general population. Further, experts observed that creative professions were more common in the relatives of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anorexia nervosa and, to some extent, autism.

According to Simon Kyaga, consultant in psychiatry, the results give cause to reconsider approaches to mental illness. "If one takes the view that certain phenomena associated with the patient's illness are beneficial, it opens the way for a new approach to treatment," he said in a statement.

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