Are creative people more likely to be crazy?
Ottway Ducard stashed this in Create
Why bipolar? Jonah Lehrer cites research showing the highs help produce new ideas:
...bipolar disorder, an illness in which people oscillate between intense sadness and extreme euphoria, is so closely associated with creativity. Andreasen found that nearly 40 percent of the successful creative people she investigated had the disorder, a rate that’s approximately twenty times higher than it is in the general population. (More recently, the psychiatrist Hagop Akiskal found that nearly two-thirds of a sample of influential European artists were bipolar. ) The reason for this correlation, Andreasen suggests, is that the manic states lead people to erupt with new ideas as their brains combust with remote associations.
Thanks for the contribution, David.
Jonah Lehrer's Imagine: How Creativity works is one of the best books I've read this year.
Craziness and triggers two sorts of responses, it seems to me:
1) F*ck yeah! (proving why I knew I was just a little loopy, usually meaning that all-important unique snowflake characteristic that mother used to tell us about) or
2) A deep fear that it's not just "a little crazy," and perhaps a bit more serious...
Honestly, I think Jonah Lehrer's book and the discussions it's engendered (including this one) are important precisely because it helps us better understand the creative process and the uniquely creative people in our midst. They are the black swans, unique snowflakes, that push us forward. Here's to the crazy ones... http://herestothecrazyones.com/
Thanks, Barbara! I just added this to my summer reading list.