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Creativity and Mental Illness, a definitive study & a list of noted artists who had a mental disorder

Here is a fascinating study that confirms what many of us (esp writers and artists) with a mental disorder have long intuited…creativity is frequently part of and inseparable from our mental illness. The good news from this study is the interpretation it is receiving that says creativity and art should be part of the treatment approach to keep the positive and lessen the negative burden of the disorder — whether bipolar, schizophrenia, autism or depression.

From Medical News Today: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251568.php

Creativity Closely Linked to Mental Illness – A Swedish Study of over 1 million people…
Individuals who work in creative fields are diagnosed and treated with a mental illness more frequently than the general public, showing an important link between writing and schizophrenia.

The finding came from a team of experts at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Their extensive research on the Swedish registry is currently the most inclusive in its area.

I also love this list of famous creatives who dealt with a mental illness while producing some of our greatest works of art and lit…

Many famous authors throughout history lived with mental illnesses. Although not proven, many friends and commentators at the time believed Charles Dickens suffered from serious bouts of clinical depression. Paticia Cornwell, a best-selling crime novelist, has acknowledged she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Stephen Fry, a British actor/author suffers from depression and most likely bipolar disorder.

Below is a list of other famous creative people who have lived with some kind of mental illness:

  • Graham Greene – bipolar disorder
  • Franz Kafka – clinical depression and social anxiety
  • Sylvia Plath – most likely bipolar disorder
  • Sidney Sheldon – bipolar disorder
  • Dylan Thomas – most likely clinical depression
  • Leo Tolstoy – was said to have become depressed and suicidal when his book “Russian Herald” was published
  • Tennessee Williams – most likely suffered from clinical depression
  • Virgina Wolf – clinical depression
  • Winston Churchill – a famous author as well as politician. He suffered from clinical depression and described his bouts as “black dog”
  • Ernest Hemingway – clinical depression

/Read the whole article here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251568.php

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