Researchers at the Stanford University
School of Medicine have shown for the first time that a sample of children who
either have or are at high risk for bipolar disorder score higher on a creativity
index than healthy children. The findings add to existing evidence that a link
exists between mood disorders and creativity.
The small study, published in the November issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research, compared creativity test scores of children of healthy parents with the scores of children of bipolar parents. Children with the bipolar parents - even those who were not bipolar themselves - scored higher than the healthy children.
"I think it's fascinating,"
said Kiki Chang, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences
and co-author of the paper. "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."
Many scientists believe that a relationship exists between creativity and bipolar disorder, which was formerly called manic-depressive illness and is marked by dramatic shifts in a person's mood, energy and ability to function. Numerous studies have examined this link; several have shown that artists and writers may have two to three times more incidences of psychosis, mood disorders or suicide when compared with people in less creative professions.
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