One of my favourite poets, Ernest Christopher Dowson was an alcoholic, a frequenter of the world’s oldest profession and died at the age of 30. Did he have a mental disorder? Quite possibly. However, in the final analysis what matters is that Dowson composed some fine poetry.
Mental illness is widespread. However the vast majority of those with mental health issues do not write and are not creative in other areas (for example as painters).
Many factors may cause a person to be creative. An appreciation of beauty coupled with parents who helped to foster creativity in the growing child may lead to him/her putting pen to paper. The creator may or may not have a mental health condition.
I also wonder whether one could conjecture (on the basis of this research) that anyone with an obsession (and writing is an obsession) has a mental health condition? Does the person who scours the internet for hours in search of rare stamps or coins have a mental health condition?
So, science has just worked out that anyone who shows any kind of creativity is suffering from a mental disorder. Where do they get these notions from?Lala land?
In a recent article on the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19959565 entitled “Creativity closely entwined with mental illness” it was pointed out that writers have a higher risk of anxiety and bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, unipolar depression, and substance abuse, according to a team of researchers at the Swedish Karolinska Institute, led by Dr Simon Kyaga.
It went on to say that anyone who is in the least bit ‘creative’ is almost twice as likely to kill themselves; far more than the general population. According to the researchers, creativity is often part of a mental illness, with writers being particularly susceptible.
Thanks a lot folks; that maybe explains why I am so driven to write. It’s a funny thing but I’ve never ever thought of writing…
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