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Is There A Thin Line Between Creativity And Craziness?

Updated on December 5, 2013

A Fine Line

copyright 2012 VVeasey


Some people say there is a fine line, between, creativity and craziness (mental illness).

Many people see, creative people, as strange, weird, crazy or all of that rolled into one. Some people, like to think of themselves as different, in a good way of course. But are they really different? Can they act or dress differently than those in their group? Can they really go against the grain, and take the criticism, ridicule and scorn, they will probably receive, if they really do this? I think the answer for many of them would be, “Hell No!”. Because, they're really conformists, and have to conform to the norms and values of the group, they belong to.


They may be, phobic, about being perceived as weird, different or “out” there! But, at the same time, they think of themselves as different or special, as standing out from the crowd, while, conforming to the latest fads or fashions.

To really be different, other than in your own mind, and the minds of those you want to accept you. You have to be willing, to be your own unique person, and do things your way, even if that's seen as wacky, or crazy by those, you seek to impress.

Which brings me to a recent study, of more than a million people, that found that creativity is, often part of mental illness, and that writers are the ones, most affected by it. (Fascinating!)

I guess that includes me. I'm a writer. What about you?

Mental Disorders

The,disorders, affecting writers, were a higher risk of anxiety, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, unipolar depression and substance abuse. (Whew!). Writers, were almost twice as likely, to kill themselves, compared to the general population. (Not me). But, on the other hand, the intense focus of an autistic person, and the manic drive of bipolar person, was seen as possibly involved, with the focus and determination, needed to express genius and creativity. (No shit!)

The, disordered mental associations, of a schizophrenic, was seen as possibly involved in stirring up novel thoughts and ideas, that could lead to an original work of art. (Hot damn!)

Dr Simon Kyaga, lead researcher on the study said “the findings suggested disorders should be viewed in a new light and that certain traits might be beneficial or desirable”. (I agree)

Crazy May Not Be All Bad

So being “crazy” may not be all bad! One person's craziness may be another person's creativity! Or a way of trying to live a more spiritual life. Like, during the 1960s drug and psychedelic craze, where many idealistic young people, tried to get a more spiritual experience of life by using Marijuana, LSD, THC and other mind altering drugs, to help them in their search to attain that experience.

Connection Between Creativity And Mental Illness

Speaking about the connection between creativity and mental illness, Researcher, Beth Murphy, commented that,“Bipolar disorder personality traits could be beneficial to those in creative professions, but it may also be that people with bipolar disorder are more attracted to professions where they can use their creative skills.(Yep sound good to me!). "It is important that we do not romanticize people with mental health problems, who are too often portrayed as struggling creative geniuses.”

I agree, it's easy to make excuses for one's self or others, who are struggling with emotional, mental or everyday life problems, as misunderstood geniuses.

Crazy Creative Thinkers

But that said. Sometimes, what people call crazy, is only what they've learned to think is crazy, without looking at it, to see if it really is crazy.

Flying space ships to the the moon, was once thought to be crazy, or impossible, but what about now! The horseless carriage, was ridiculed and laughed at as just a novelty and many people said, ”it would never replace the horse and buggy!” But look at it now!

Galileo, was threaten with imprisonment, torture and death, for saying that earth revolved around the sun, and that he could see the rings of Saturn with his telescope, because that was outrageous, and wasn't in the bible, but what about now!.

It's because of our, “crazy” creative thinkers, and dreamers, that we have many of the luxuries and scientific advances, we have today, and will continue to have in the future, as long as there are creative dreamers, thinkers and doers in this world. And if there is a thin line between creativity and craziness....just make sure you don't step over that line! Maybe you can tap your toe or over it, once and a while.

So dream your crazy dream...but make it a good dream...because one day, it may just become, a reality!

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    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 5 years ago from Florida

      vveasey.... my articles...? Yecs I write a " bit off the old wall "...I have a different take on life and all the " quirks and perks " that go with it...have a great Wednesday....

    • vveasey profile image

      The Medicine Man 5 years ago from Detroit,MI

      kj force

      thanks for weighing in

      do u mean have I read your articles?

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 5 years ago from Florida

      vveasey...great hub and subject...If people were to think back to the " hippies era ". they broke away from conservative society of which they were disillussioned with..and set up their own society with rules also..their rules ! their lifestyle obviously didn't many fell by the wayside..If it weren't for some of the "crazies"we would still be back in the dark far as writers, we're all a little off..have you read some of the articles ????? thanks for your research..enjoyed the ????

    • teresapelka profile image

      Teresa Pelka 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      I never intended to stand out. I was different, possibly some agreeable way, as never considered insane school environments, etc.

      Feel welcome to see my different approach to grammar

      Writers are not more prone to commit suicide - they are just not counted like the people. Very few good writers would have any addiction.