Published on November 6, 2012 | by Abigail Maden

0

Creativity linked to mental illness

A student in bed, covering their face with their hands.

A typical student lifestyle could be conducive to depression. [Maja Smiejkowska]

A study of more than one million people conducted by  researchers at the Karolinska institute in Sweden has established a close link between creativity and mental illness.

Experts have suggested mental illness does not necessarily cause creativity, nor does creativity necessarily contribute to mental illness, but a certain ruminating personality type may contribute to both mental health issues and art.

For example, the manic drive of a person with bipolar disorder and the restrictive and intense interests of someone with autism might provide the necessary focus and determination for genius and creativity, according to lead researcher Dr Simon Kyaga.

Head of information at the mental health charity Mind, Beth Murphy, said: “It is important that we do not romanticise people with mental health problems, who are too often portrayed as struggling creative geniuses.

“We know that one in four people will be diagnosed with a mental health problem this year and that these individuals will come from a range of different backgrounds, professions and walks of life.”

“It is important that we do not romanticise people with mental health problems, who are too often portrayed as struggling creative geniuses.”

Beth Murphy

The World Health Organisation states that depression affects approximately 121 million people worldwide, making depression the most prominent mental illness.

Student depression 

One in eight young people throughout the United Kingdom faces depression, and over the last 10 years, the number of students suffering has risen more than five times.

Heightened stress levels during studies and exams may leave numerous students vulnerable to a range of illnesses.

The Association for University & College Counselling said that in a single year three to 10 per cent of the student population had contact with its counselling service.

A healthy diet, plenty of sleep and regular exercise can help beat depression, whereas alcohol and drug use are thought to enhance it.

Tags: , , , ,




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑