Fast Company Does Creativity Come With A Price?
This fall, the first statistically significant study linking creativity and mental illness was published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. “Mental Illness, Suicide, And Creativity: 40-Year Prospective Total Population Study,” examined 1.2 million Swedish patients from the country’s national registry and compared this sample against the entire Swedish population.
Here’s what they found:
Overall, creative professionals were about 8% more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder than the general population. The study found this to be true for artists (practitioners of everything from photography to choreography) and scientists (professors and researchers). The most startling results, however, related to authors. Writers were a whopping 121% more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder than the general population. Moreover, Simon Kyaga, the study’s lead researcher, says that authors had a “statistically significant increase” in anxiety disorders--38% to be exact. Rates of alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide also increased among writers.