Psychotherapy Services in South West London

Great wits and Madness

The results of many studies show that the highly creative individuals were frequently described in similar terms as: sceptical, aloof, radical, self-sufficient, independent, bohemian often introverted and usually more open to experience. The connection between creativity and psychosis is indeed genuine. One of the few established facts about psychotic illness is that it runs in families. The genes responsible for the disposition to schizophrenia also code fore creative ability. Several lines of evidence do support this theory. However further studies show that what connects creativity to madness is some aspect of the thought styles which psychotic and original forms of thinking have in common and which, in the psychiatric domain can be observed across the arbitrary diagnostic categories of psychosis. The authors concluded that creativity and psychotic sympthomatology do indeed reflect equivalent forms of cognitive processing. What research do not explain is how some apparently psychotic individuals manage to achieve effective creativity whereas others, probably the majority, fail entirely to do so. Almost all outstandingly creative people are high in assessed IQ, a fact which must surely protect them to some extent from mental breakdown by providing them with more flexible sociological resources to cope with stress and by enabling them go make socially valued contributions that strengthen self esteem.

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