Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Creativity

green spiralFascinating article about a new study finding that a gene linked to mental illness also influences whether a person is highly creative. Read about it here in the Vancouver Sun.

Artist and musician Nigel Bart, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia 15 years ago says: “When someone has a feeling that they need to create something, it’s part of who they are, it’s in their genes.”  I think all of us creative souls can relate to that sentiment, with or without mental illness.

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8 Responses to “Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Creativity”


  1. 1 K a b l o o e y July 18, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I’ve read similar research about those with Tourette’s, who go off medication on weekends to make music, create, write, etc. because they feel their meds conflict with their creativity (or simply make them lethargic). Interesting stuff. As always, Sandy.

    • 2 stranglingmymuse July 20, 2009 at 11:19 am

      That’s interesting — I hadn’t heard about the Tourette’s/creativity connection. It makes sense, though.
      Thanks for adding to the discussion!
      –Sandy

  2. 3 47whitebuffalo July 24, 2009 at 3:21 am

    recently found “the wind never lies” by Steven Morgan—and it’s a mind blower in some ways. Might be of some interest to someone.

    • 4 stranglingmymuse July 24, 2009 at 1:17 pm

      What a beautiful, moving and fascinating account of Morgan’s struggle to find a positive way to live in the world. Thanks so much for sharing this. I found it here if anyone else wants to read it.
      –Sandy

  3. 6 47whitebuffalo July 24, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    ps, the site you linked to is the first place I discovered it also–and that’s an interesting source of information.

    • 7 stranglingmymuse July 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks for the information. I’ve always been interested in the line between creativity and what becomes diagnosed as mental illness. I’ve talked on this blog about how I communicate with and am inspired by my muse and my characters. Why am I not considered mentally ill? The easy answer is that I know my muse isn’t “real” — but the truth is more complicated than that. (And he is real, just a different kind of real…)
      –Sandy


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