According to a recent study of over a million people, writers are more than twice as likely as the rest of the general population to kill themselves.
Couple that along with increased risk of Schizophrenia, Bi-polar disorder and even a higher susceptibility to substance abuse, means that writers are a worrying bunch altogether.
The study conducted by Karolinska Institute in Sweden, has gone as far as to label creativity as “Closely entwined with mental illness”
It quotes the following examples:
- Novelist Virginia Woolf, who wrote A Room of One’s Own and To the Lighthouse, had depression and drowned herself
- Fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen, who wrote The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid, had depression
- US author and journalist Ernest Hemingway, who wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls, had depression and killed himself with a shotgun
- Author and playwright Graham Greene, who wrote the novel Brighton Rock, had bipolar disorder
Lead researcher Dr Simon Kyaga said the findings suggested disorders should be viewed in a new light and that certain traits might be beneficial or desirable.
For example, the restrictive and intense interests of someone with autism and the manic drive of a person with bipolar disorder might provide the necessary focus and determination for genius and creativity.
Similarly, the disordered thoughts associated with schizophrenia might spark the all-important originality element of a masterpiece.
Source: BBC News Website