Is anyone shocked by new research which shows that people in creative professions are treated more often for mental illness than the general population?
According to researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden who read a ton of Sylvia Plath — just kidding, their massive study is actually the most comprehensive ever in its field — writers are particularly likely to be schizophrenic. Bipolar disorder is "more prevalent in the entire group of people with artistic or scientific professions, such as dancers, researchers, photographers and authors."
"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," said researcher Simon Kyaga. "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."
In related news, I just bought a copy of The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales (perfect for Halloween season!), which probably wouldn't exist if it wasn't for insane creative geniuses.