Link found between writers and schizophrenia

17 Oct

Creative souls who pride themselves in their peculiar thought processes beware: new research has found a connection between people in creative professions and mental illnesses.

The study, financed by the Swedish Research Council studied more than 1.2 million patients and their families, and found that artists and scientists were associated more with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia than the general population.

Writers and authors were included in the research as well. Depression, substance abuse and anorexia nervosa more common in authors than the general population.

But, the research went both ways. They also found that relatives of people with these diseases were more likely to pursue a creative career.

Simon Kyaga, Consultant in psychiatry and Doctoral Student at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, thinks these findings will help the overall understanding of mental illnesses.

“If one takes the view that certain phenomena associated with the patient’s illness are beneficial, it opens the way for a new approach to treatment,” Kyaga said in a press release. “In that case, the doctor and patient must come to an agreement on what is to be treated, and at what cost. In psychiatry and medicine generally there has been a tradition to see the disease in black-and-white terms and to endeavour to treat the patient by removing everything regarded as morbid.”

The full scientific article can be read here.

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