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.
Research conducted by the team in 2011 indicated that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are more prevalent in families consisting of artists and scientists compared to the society at large. They demonstrated that the dopamine system in healthy, creative individuals is fairly similar to that seen in people with schizophrenia.
The aim of the current study was to determine whether more psychiatric diagnoses, such as depression, alcohol and drug abuse, schizoaffective disorder, autism, ADHD, anxiety syndrome, anorexia nervosa, and suicide, were linked with creativity as well. Since their prior trials consisted of hospital patients only, this time they included people in outpatient care.
Nearly 1.2 million patients and their family members (down to second-cousins) were examined for the current study. All subjects were compared with healthy controls, Swedish residents from the most recent decades. The information could not be associated to anyone studied because the data was anonymized.
Researchers have suggested a link between creativity and mental illness.
Analysis provided evidence for the researchers’ prior report, that bipolar disorder is more common in all individuals with artistic or scientific jobs, including researchers, dancers, photographers, and authors.
The majority of the other psychiatric diseases, such as depression, anxiety syndrome, schizophrenia, and substance abuse, were more prevalent among authors in particular. They also had a 50% higher chance of committing suicide compared to the general public.