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"The dark side of creativity"

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There is an article in cnn about the "dark side of creativity".

Here is my reply to this article. Ugh. I'm not saying creativity and MI don't exist, just that it's stupid to romanticize and sensationalize MI in the news. Ugh.

"wtf is "schizotypy"? This just demonstrates how inaccurate and stupid this article really is. STOP ROMANTICIZING MENTAL ILLNESS! It's not cool, fun, or creative. This article is trash. Why don't you try to write a real article about what it REALLY is like to live with the hell that mental illness really is."


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There *is* something to be on the relationship between creativity and mental illness, but I agree that article isn't it.

I could tear it apart, creatively half a dozen ways.

Not least for them failing to understand the sources on Munch actually quoted.


And at the other end of the scale I have met individuals so stable that they haven't has an original thought in their lives.


It plots tolerable well on a Venn diagram.  Not everyone struggling with a mental illness is  creative genius, not every creative genius is suffering from mental illness.  There is probably a statistical correlation unlikely to occur by chance.


But the world being what it is positive "easy pictures" can get grabbed at as well as negatives ones.

Yes, I have been faced with  "Oh, so you have autism?  What's your special talent?"


More often thought than said "I have a phenomenal ability to detect bullshit, so I don't have to swallow it or spout it."



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jt, isn't romanticization also a form of stigma? After all, if someone's really romaticized view is shown the reality then they are in for a rude awakening! Which could end poorly. 

For example, I am nothing like Tara or Sybil (because they are fake). Nor am I like Eve, because that's not what it's like. But it happens that people get obsessed or super-interested in a condition. When I fail to meet their expectations, it's not their expectations that change - it's the nature of my relationship with that person that changes. Which, from the point of view of my feelings and expectations, is still stigma.


Also, I know someone with MI who can't creative his way out of a box. He's just too 'out there.' That happens, too.

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Hmm. There is some evidence that having a certain set of genes (two short alleles of the serotonin transporter gene) makes you more sensitive to your environment. So if you experience adversity or trauma then you are far more likely to suffer from adverse effects and depression, anxiety or other MIs. But if you have the same set of genes and you are nurtured and protected from trauma then you will thrive and do "better" (like maybe be exceptionally creative or a brilliant scientist) than someone with a set of genes that makes them resilient but less able to take advantage of a nurturing environment.






a pop science version of the one above   http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-01-scientists-link-gene-sensitivity-emotional.html




Sooo, I think it is likely that there is an association between MI and creativity, albeit a fairly complex one.


I think this article is mostly sensationalized oversimplified or taken out of context though. And kind of offensive. 


Person with a mental illness = /= tortured genius.

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I had never heard of schizotpy either cheese, here is the wiki link



"In psychologyschizotypy is a theory stating that there is a continuum of personality characteristics and experiences ranging from normal dissociative, imaginative states to more extreme states related to psychosis and in particular, schizophrenia. This is in contrast to a categorical view of psychosis, where psychosis is considered to be a particular (usually pathological) state, that someone either has, or has not."



I don't have a problem with the article but it doesn't seem like it is anything new.  Yes, there have been studies showing a correlation between mi and creativity and there have been famous artists of various types with mi. I am not sure how that relates to the study.  It sounds like it would be pretty subjective to determine originality and levels of schizotypy.

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I suppose it depends on the value society places on creativity, also.


If I consider some of the stereotypes I encountered about creative types when I worked in art, I used to hear things like:


Delusional, difficult to work with, egotistic, out of touch with reality, lavish, crazy, promiscuous, vain, impractical


none of which, whether the artist had an MI or not, were good things to have ascribed to you. I find modern society very homogenous and centred about consumerism, so often I see creativity as mocked on the sidelines, unless it';s a Steve Jobs kind of moneymaking creativity. I feel as if creatives are seen with the same mocking unkindness that stay at home moms were (or are), that kind of 'how sweet and odd, now back in the real world, where we all have proper jobs.'


In that sense, the creative crazy idea has done me no favours, not only am I odd because I'm crazy, I'm a little artistic butterfly too who needs to grow up, get a job and get a clue. It's that Sylvia Plath, Van Gogh, Mozart had Bipolar freakshow. I personally loathe it. I see a lot of creative work and art get sidelined into a ghetto of 'art linked to mental health' and peoples genuine contributions to creativity dismissed as madness.

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