“Artists…were 23% more likely than non-artists to have a… vulnerability to schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.”


I have looked at this research and frankly it is ambiguous.  But all genetic research is in it’s earliest stages of the science.

Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder may share genetic roots with creativity — ScienceDaily

Genes linked to creativity could increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and bipolar disorder… this new study lends support to the direct influence on creativity of genes found in people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder…

Previous studies have shown that psychiatric disorders, particularly bipolar disorder, tend to be found in the same families where creative professions are common

Researchers found that:

  • genetic risk scores for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were significantly higher in those defined as creative individuals,
  • with scores approximately halfway between the general population and those with the disorders themselves.

These findings lend support to the direct influence of genetic factors on creativity, as opposed to the effect of sharing an environment with individuals who have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

‘Our findings suggest that creative people may have a genetic predisposition towards thinking differently which, when combined with other harmful biological or environmental factors, could lead to mental illness.’

From the original study abstract:

“We tested whether polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder would predict creativity. Higher scores were associated with artistic society membership or creative profession in both Icelandic and replication cohorts.  This could not be accounted for by increased relatedness between creative individuals and those with psychoses, indicating that creativity and psychosis share genetic roots.”


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