“Creativity and Mental Illness” Comments, Page 1

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3 Comments on “Creativity and Mental Illness”

  1. Sanity is an assumption
    In some African languages “insanity” is described as “reluctant: the assumption is that these people are waiting for an oppertune moment to burst into song or whatever.

    It reminds me of the guy who did not speak for 22 years and eventually when he did he was asked why he waited so long,to which he answered “I did’nt have anything to say”

    I grew up in Africa and we often played with children who either did not speak or were in technical terms clinically insane.

    However with some of wire could turn anything into a work of art, and I guess the reason we did play with them was because they were creative beyond belief…………I ask myself did they want to impress the rational or did they do whatever they did without regard for the need of approval.

    The line is rather thinner drawn now and I find myself longing for those days when making a wire truck or using water as a counterweight with a clay tortoise on the other side maattered more.

    I’ve gone back to Africa many times since , still see the children,now rather older sitting in the sun making drawings in the sand….and ask myself with all your qualifications and money who is happier.
    To which my grandafter would respond, I think you need to ask who is happier?
    oh well.

    lee du ploy hong kong

  2. Of course, there’s always the possibility that “…creative individuals [who] find themselves outside of the mainstream…can experience periods when they feel unaccepted, misunderstood, and painfully alone” is nothing more than anti-social behavior of some sort. I bipolar and have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. I’m somewhat, thought not miraculously, creative—more so than most folks but not enough to have really accomplished anything. All of this is pretty “airy-fairy” as a writing teacher used to call work that was not rooted in enough reality to be interesting or believable. So I keep trucking and hope that my creativity, if it does not produce the great American novel, will at least keep me out of mischief and having some enjoyment in success in life. Creativity that manifests itself, for example, in manic writing is not very useful. Creativity that manifests itself in writing that at least is done with an attempt to make sense can begin to be useful and enjoyable.

  3. It’s possible that because music and art seem to be good emotional outlets, mentally ill persons are not more creative but simply have more that they need to let out. I personally have suffered from mental illness for many years and do not exhibit any extraordinary creative talents. I also stayed in a psychiatric ward for a while and we discussed this topic. No one said they had any hidden creative talents. Part of our therapy was art and musical instruments but it was supposed to be a good release of emotions. So maybe the mentally ill are not genetically predisposed to creativity, but just have more to say.

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