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Bipolar Disorder and Creativity

Description:
Kay Jamison discusses the link between mania and creativity, and the heritability of the disorder.
Transcript:
One thing that is clear is that if you look at the scientific literature, there are more than 20 studies showing a very much elevated rate of depression and manic depression in people who are highly creative. Obviously most people who are highly creative, don't suffer from any kind of psychopathology, they aren't particularly moody, they are, don't suffer from depression. It's rather that there is a disproportionate rate. And I think that when you're talking about genius, when you're talking about someone with the mind of someone like Byron, for example, or Virginia Woolf, I think you're talking about people who are by definition, it's a very unusual set of circumstances, that leads to that kind of mind and ability. And in both of those instances a very strong family history, it's a genetic illness, a very strong family history of depression and mania and suicide. And in both of those instances you could see how these illnesses both gave them a range of experience from which they wrote, but it also gave an intensity and a power and a fluency to that which they wrote.
Keywords:
bipolar, manic depression, kay jamison, symptom, genetic, gene, family, psychopathology, creativity, genius, suicide, byron, woolf,
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