Do you think creativity is similar to "madness" ?

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  1. CaribeM profile image70
    CaribeMposted 13 years ago

    Recently a study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have found striking similarities in the patterns of neurological processes of extremely creative people and individuals suffering from schizophrenia. Those groups of people lack very important neuro-receptors which are used to filter and organize thoughts. Researchers believe that this "deficiency" foster  an inhibited process of though which allows those groups of people to "think out of the box". Thus the same neurological conditions may lead some people to be exceptionally creative, while others may develop mental illnesses.

    For you, what is "madness"?  What is a mad person?

    How do you define creativity? Who can be considered creative?

    How can you make a distinction between a mentally ill and a creative person?

    1. Danteh profile image60
      Dantehposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Well, that finding doesn't surprise me in the least!

      Most genius in human history have been half mad, depressed, delusional, etc (for example Van Gogh who cut his ear, wtf?), so I think it's quite necessary to be a little mad if you want to create things that really no one else have created.

      I'm quite creative myself, and sometimes my friends just look at me laughing and say "your crazy dude lol!" cause I come up with some funny/different ideas.

      So I it's think good if you don't overdo it, cause then it may be dangerous

      1. CaribeM profile image70
        CaribeMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Salvador Dali was also considered a madman and he was one of the geniuses of modern art. And, remember the mathematician John Nash, who's life was portrayed in the film "A beautiful mind?

        I think the line between madness and creativity is very fine, and people might walk over that line for a long time, sometimes very successfully, others painfully and unfulfilled...

        After all, who defines which conducts are in the realm of madness?

        1. Sally's Trove profile image78
          Sally's Troveposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Exactly. And to add, who defines normality?

          The norm defines normality.

          What a skewed perspective that is.

          We have IQ testing to determine intelligence, but intelligence of what kind?

          We know of savants who have the most amazing talents in one special discipline but who can't relate according to the "norm".

          We have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychopaths, sociopaths...we have humans who are neither male nor female.

          Creativity often is the product of those who are outside the norm. Is that madness? I don't think so. I think it's just the way it is, and those who call it mad are living so far inside the norm that they will never realize their own ability to be creative.

    2. DavitosanX profile image61
      DavitosanXposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      A teacher of mine once told me that you had to be very smart and creative in order to be schizophreniac, because of all the illusion you had to create and mantain.

      Bottom line, you have to be smart in order to be crazy.

    3. Ivorwen profile image68
      Ivorwenposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      "Writing is the only socially acceptable form of schizophrenia."

      ~E. L. Doctorow

      I have a feeling that  creativity often comes from embracing the differences, rather than running from them or trying to conform to what is considered normal.  What if the schizophrenic person is acting out the story in their mind, rather than writing it down because they have never realized the creative value of it?

  2. Ohma profile image61
    Ohmaposted 13 years ago

    I have often made the comment that Lewis Carrol and Stephen King whom I consider to be very creative and very talented were both probably in need of serious chemical abuse rehabilitation but this may be closer to the truth.

  3. torimari profile image68
    torimariposted 13 years ago

    Though it is not verbatim, I always found this saying true: The most brilliant minds are always a little insane.

    Something like that. I always felt the most eccentric, smart people would be considered 'abnormal' perhaps even 'nuts'...however, normalcy is overrated.

    Also, it seems mental illness is becoming more relative these days...seems like everyone with an emotional issue is considered a little ill in the head and given pills. So, who knows.

    1. tantrum profile image59
      tantrumposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Keeping the beasts tamed. lol

  4. manlypoetryman profile image78
    manlypoetrymanposted 13 years ago

    Do you think creativity is similar to "madness" ?

    Without a Doubt!

  5. tantrum profile image59
    tantrumposted 13 years ago


    1. LarasMama profile image61
      LarasMamaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Two points I'd like to make:

      1. To be creative is to think outside the box. Thinking outside the box is thinking in a way that isn't average or normal. Thinking abnormally is often considered madness!
      2. Most smart people get some form of mental illness (depression or worse), and some say it's because being smarter is such a burden - you can't just mindlessly believe like other people, you have to understand, analyse and often see too well how things work, which can be scary!

      1. Rafini profile image71
        Rafiniposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        and then there's the person who finds a problem that can't be solved.  he thinks and thinks and analyzes and analyzes and thinks and thinks and analyzes and thinks some more to analyze again and still can't resolve the issue!

      2. CaribeM profile image70
        CaribeMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        1. What is "thinking abnormally"? How what is "normal" is defined?
        I think one of the issues that is worth considering is how madness and creativity are defined and who defines it in terms of contents, forms and limits.

        2. Are all mental illnesses related to madness?

  6. prettydarkhorse profile image57
    prettydarkhorseposted 13 years ago

    craziness is not creativity -- your mode of thinking is not inside what is in the topic  -- you lose the sense to control what is the expected behavior or you dont have the capacity to think what is right or wrong within your own values -- sense muddled up,

    creativity is not craziness  -- your mode of thinking is looking and thinking beyond what is at hand

    1. Rafini profile image71
      Rafiniposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      well said.  so I think I can start seeing myself as creative rather than crazy. big_smilesmile

  7. wrenfrost56 profile image56
    wrenfrost56posted 13 years ago

    For me I think yes, I am at my most creative when feeling slightly mad! smile

  8. mrpopo profile image67
    mrpopoposted 13 years ago

    "This is either madness, or brilliance."

    "It's remarkable how often those two traits coincide."

    From Pirates of the Caribbean

  9. Origin profile image60
    Originposted 13 years ago

    I've met a lot of intelligent people over the years, usually they are kinda quirky or nutty! big_smile

  10. optimus grimlock profile image61
    optimus grimlockposted 13 years ago

    theres a very fine line that I often cross!!!

  11. LeanMan profile image82
    LeanManposted 13 years ago

    I'm as normal as the other nuts here!!

  12. humagaia profile image57
    humagaiaposted 13 years ago

    Madness is too often used where the user does not have a better word for the ideas and observances that emanate from creative or tangential thinkers. The fact that someone thinks and expresses themselves in a way that is counter to the norm does not make them mad. What can make them mad is the process of trying to make others aware of something that they see so vividly as the solution to a problem.
    Creative thinking is not the realm of madness it is in the realm of anyone that actually cares to think. Expressing that thought in ways that are acceptable to others, i.e. that their brains can accept, is the difficult part.
    It sends me mad anyway.
    The view from my window is good but the bars get in the way of seeing the view completely. Gotta go, the nurse is coming. Don't tell her I was here.

  13. Richieb799 profile image67
    Richieb799posted 13 years ago

    Artists are often ridiculed because they paint a different picture of harmony apart from some of the madness which already exists in problems of the world

  14. alternate poet profile image67
    alternate poetposted 13 years ago

    Creativity is being able to see more than one view at the same time, seeing things that others do not see or differently - madness can have the same effect but not being in control can make it difficult to do anything with it.

  15. Lisa HW profile image61
    Lisa HWposted 13 years ago

    It think it may depend on the type of creativity.  I've read that some types of creativity have been associated with higher rates of mental illness (and "the filter thing", etc.).  There are all kinds of creativity, though - and they all don't have to do with things like painting.

    There's also a big difference between "intelligence" and "creativity".  I've done a lot of research on exceptionally gifted children, and one of the most awful things is that they are often tagged with the "mentally ill" label for no reason other than someone doesn't understand them. An example is a highly gifted child may actually feel something like a stray thread in his sock, and it may actually be uncomfortable, when someone else wouldn't feel it.  Someone who doesn't understand may think the child is "imagining things" or "neurotic enough to be bothered by something like a thread in his sock" - when, really, the child is feeling something that's making him uncomfortable.

    To me, "madness" would have to be clinical mental illness, like Schizophrenia.  It's not a term used by health-care people, so I don't like the term anyway.

    Anything else may be a personality disorder, a neurosis, or even just something few other people understand.  Since I think people have to awfully, awfully, careful about forming their own "diagnoses" of other people; my answer to this thread is "no" - not unless someone is so ill he loses touch with what's going on around him and starts hearing voices.

  16. Glimmer515 profile image61
    Glimmer515posted 13 years ago

    madness and brilliance is always a thin line! It just depends what your crative outlet is! If you use ur emotion to yell at people who arnt there than ur crazy but if you use ur emotions to throw paint on a blank canvas than ur viewed as creative!

  17. purpleangel47 profile image61
    purpleangel47posted 13 years ago

    Definitely a fine line. Look at the roster of celebrities who suffer from Bi-polar; the artists and singers (cutting off ears, biting the heads off chicks); writers (Stephen King - whooee!)
    When you look at the success and adolation of these people, wearing a "crazy" hat is almost admirable. Their illnesses empowered them.

    1. purpleangel47 profile image61
      purpleangel47posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I wanted to add that Im not labeling Stephen King with a mental disorder. Just that he definitely had to delve deep into a dark place to create the wealth of successful projects he's had in his career.

  18. salt profile image60
    saltposted 13 years ago

    Sometimes they find what they want to find. Sometimes the madness is there that others call creativity.

    Sometimes creativity is just creativity and I dont think creativity is madness.

    the old saying, the crazy artist, ... is a link between both world and maybe it has to do with the use of different parts of the brain - a painter is very visually orientated and turns an idea or form into reality. ...

    a person with what we call a mental illness, may have that type of creativity, yet not be able to find a channel to communicate it effectively, or be caught up in it without understanding the creative process.


  19. Eric Calderwood profile image71
    Eric Calderwoodposted 13 years ago

    It does seems like creativity is akin to madness, but then how many sane people are there working in the Mental Health field?  Have you ever noticed how weird some of these people are?

  20. profile image0
    ralwusposted 13 years ago

    Hah! Just because a purple lizard follows me around doesn't make me crazy! Just because I hear her speak to me doesn't either. big_smile

  21. Origin profile image60
    Originposted 13 years ago

    One person's sanity is another man's crazy! big_smile


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