Are Creative People More Prone To Mental Illnesses? Let’s Find Out


There’s always a dark side, a con, and a demerit to having an ability. For creative people as they say, being more at risk of suffering from mental illnesses is the downside. It’s quite positively said that having a ‘not so normal’ brain function is the key to creating good art. But is that true?

It’s pretty shocking to imagine that the thing energizes a person to become a genius in a specific field, also makes the same person vulnerable. How is that possible? It can be noted that a creative person is more open to new experiences, they have a heightened emotional capacity and their ways of approaching life’s problems differ from the ‘less’ creative ones. These traits can also result into higher vulnerability to disorders of the brain.

There is a link, yes but it isn’t as simple as that. Depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder are among the common mental ailments to be reported by the creative lot but it isn’t a vicious cycle.

Many studies have suggested that creative people are susceptible to mental illnesses because their brain chemistry works different. They are more sensitive to slight changes in environments and people around them which help them create wonderful art forms, but also put them at risk.

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Another reason why this population of people is more likely to be affected is because they have a difficulty is filtering out sensory input. You might have also noticed that writers or artists tend to lock themselves up in a room for hours at a time to avoid any human contact if they’re working on a project. Most of the time they have trouble in ‘letting go’ because they can’t stop going over and over in their mind. But solitude keeps them focused.

The correlation between creativity and mental disorders is a tight bound structure. There isn’t anything concrete that proves creativity causes mental disorders or mental disorders cause creativity. One can’t determine the cause and effect relationship between the two but the interlinking is definitely there.

Although this study doesn’t hold true for everyone, but majority of the creative minds do fall into this category. Despite the negative effects, a creative individual would never want to lose their abilities because it almost makes them feel like a superpower.

What do you think?