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Creative People Prone to Madness and Genius

Updated on June 6, 2011

Bipolar Disorder and Madness

The Creativity and Insanity comparison has been a popular rise due to famous individuals in different forms and creative occupations and backgrounds.

Such as:

1.       Van Gogh the pioneer and leading force in the popularity of modern art known as impressionism shot himself in the chest at 37 years of age. 

2.       Kurt Cobain the man responsible for bringing an unknown form of music know as Grunge to mainstream radio paving the way for many and selling over 50 million records, he committed suicide by shooting shotgun in his mouth.

3.       Sylvia Plath the brutality honest and creative Poet known as one of the first people to write in the form of Confessional Poetry put her head in an oven as used the gases produced to commit suicide.

Another being Virginia Woolf and many more, creative people suffered from insanity which is better known in the forms of depression and bipolar disorder particularly in relevance to the people mentioned. Although there is no scientific prove of a relation it is pretty clear there is a pattern as there are too many cases to ignore.

So what is creativity? Some will say it is being innovative or thinking outside the box, in other words you have to think differently to be creative or genius.

 Therefore it can also be said that insane individuals think outside the box so does that make then Genius or creative?

In contrast there are many ‘normal’ people that are creative and also many insane people that are not creative which indicates these individuals known for being Geniuses are walking on a very thin line of Genius and Insanity or they posses something more that makes them unique such as ‘Giftedness’ or High Intelligence. 

It can also be argued that Geniuses are prone to Mental Illness or Insanity rather than being born with it. This is because most if not all Geniuses related to mental illnesses have suffered traumatic events in their childhoods that cause the emotional distress for the mental illness to develop.

Using the same examples are the following:

Kurt Cobain’s stressor- Parental divorce

Sylvia Plath stressor- Father’s death when she was 10

Van Gogh stressor- rejection of art/ starving artist

All of the mentioned above suffered traumatic event that may have led to the insanity and illness they suffered so it makes you wonder would they have been the geniuses they were if they didn’t suffer these trauma’s?

Due to the fact other suffer similar trauma and led healthy life bring sensitivity into question are Highly Sensitive People prone to insanity?

It can go on and on for one simple reason: they is no answer or the answer lies with the evolved generation of Human Beings to come.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think there is a correlation between feelings of deep isolation and genius. I think these geniuses have a side of them that is highly introverted, which aids in attaching them to their art forms. These types may seem intellectually normal, otherwise, but express unusual talent in a certain field.

    • SilentReed profile image


      8 years ago from Philippines

      I wonder if the right brain or left brain development play any part in suicides. It seems there are more writers than painters who commint suidside. Just a musing on my part.

    • jandee profile image


      8 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

      Have genious in family !Exeptionally highly gifted...Quite normal in other respects.How many gifted artists are rejected and would starve if remained true to their calling? Enjoyed reading,thanks.


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