Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mania and creativity


Many scientists, notably Kay Redfield Jamison in her book Touched with Fire, see a link between creativity and bipolar disorder, but I just came across a study where researchers at Stanford University's School of Medicine have found that having bipolar parents can pay dividends in creativity. It suggests what anyone whose hung out with many children of people with bipolar disorder already seem to believe: they tend to be super creative, like their bipolar parents. The small study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, said offspring of parents with bipolar -- even those who did not suffer the condition themselves -- scored higher on creativity tests than those with mentally sound parents. Dr. Kiki Chang, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford, told the United Press International, that "there is a reason that many people who have bipolar disorder become very successful, and these findings address the positive aspects of having this illness."