Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Link between creativity and mental illness confirmed in large-scale Swedish study

Date:
October 16, 2012
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
People in creative professions are treated more often for mental illness than the general population, there being a particularly salient connection between writing and schizophrenia, according to researchers whose large-scale Swedish registry study is the most comprehensive ever in its field.

People in creative professions are treated more often for mental illness than the general population, according to a large-scale Swedish study.
Credit: © Jan Matoska / Fotolia

People in creative professions are treated more often for mental illness than the general population, there being a particularly salient connection between writing and schizophrenia. This according to researchers at Karolinska Institutet, whose large-scale Swedish registry study is the most comprehensive ever in its field.

Related Articles


Last year, the team showed that artists and scientists were more common amongst families where bipolar disorder and schizophrenia is present, compared to the population at large. They subsequently expanded their study to many more psychiatric diagnoses -- such as schizoaffective disorder, depression, anxiety syndrome, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, autism, ADHD, anorexia nervosa and suicide -- and to include people in outpatient care rather than exclusively hospital patients.

The present study tracked almost 1.2 million patients and their relatives, identified down to second-cousin level. Since all were matched with healthy controls, the study incorporated much of the Swedish population from the most recent decades. All data was anonymized and cannot be linked to any individuals.

The results confirmed those of their previous study, that certain mental illness -- bipolar disorder -- is more prevalent in the entire group of people with artistic or scientific professions, such as dancers, researchers, photographers and authors. Authors also specifically were more common among most of the other psychiatric diseases (including schizophrenia, depression, anxiety syndrome and substance abuse) and were almost 50 per cent more likely to commit suicide than the general population.

Further, the researchers observed that creative professions were more common in the relatives of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anorexia nervosa and, to some extent, autism. According to Simon Kyaga, Consultant in psychiatry and Doctoral Student at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the results give cause to reconsider approaches to mental illness.

"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," he says. "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 study was financed with grants from the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Psychiatry Foundation, the Bror Gadelius Foundation, the Stockholm Centre for Psychiatric Research and the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simon Kyaga, Mikael Landιn, Marcus Boman, Christina M. Hultman, Niklas Lεngstrφm, Paul Lichtenstein. Mental illness, suicide and creativity: 40-Year prospective total population study. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.09.010

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Link between creativity and mental illness confirmed in large-scale Swedish study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016084934.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2012, October 16). Link between creativity and mental illness confirmed in large-scale Swedish study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016084934.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Link between creativity and mental illness confirmed in large-scale Swedish study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016084934.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) — More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) — A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins