A new study published in “The British Journal of Psychiatry” has discovered that being creative and have creative thoughts are more likely that you will suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression than the rest of the population. “This new study looked at the health records of the whole of Sweden – providing a sample of almost 4.5 million people. The researchers then took into account whether these people studied an artistic subject – like music or drama – at university, strangely enough; those with artsy degrees were 90 percent more likely to be hospitalized for schizophrenia than their less creative counterparts. The hospitalizations were most likely to happen at some point during their 30s,” mentioned IFL Science.
The researchers said that it was not just the act of going to university that affected mental health, because those with law degrees did not have higher rates of these illnesses than the general population.
Therefore, it is not the first study that finds a link between mental health and creativity. For example, in 2010 brain scans discovered similarities between the thought pathways of schizophrenics and very creative people. Meanwhile, a 2015 study found that creative people have a risk of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, a 2012 study found that just writers are at a higher risk, noticed IFLScience.
It could be that creative people are more likely to think deeply and be emotionally unstable, making them more vulnerable to conditions like depression. Lead author James McCabe told New Scientist that the genetics behind creativity might also influence mental health.
“Creativity often involves linking ideas or concepts in ways that other people wouldn’t think of,” he told New Scientist. “But that’s similar to how delusions work – for example, seeing a connection between the color of someone’s clothes and being part of an MI5 conspiracy.”
Researches also shows that creative people are more likely to study art subject, many creative people do not, so the new study is limited in that it used degree subject as the sole measure of creativity.