The Real Link Between Creativity and Mental Illness
“There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.”
The romantic notion that mental illness and creativity are linked is so prominent in the public consciousness that it is rarely challenged. Researchers agree that mental illness is neither necessary nor sufficient for creativity. But is there still a connection between the two?
This article by Scott Barry Kaufman, published in Scientific American demonstrates that being open and sensitive tends to lead to more divergent ideas, but can also leave you vulnerable to mental health challenges. However, true creativity also requires the intellect to direct the divergence. No accident, then, that siblings of those with mental illness often rank higher on creativity scales.