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Are You a lunatic or genius ? Our intelligence is very connected to mental disorders that we may get - studies show.

Updated on June 7, 2012
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Behind Our Intelligence

Today, the thin connection from being genius to being lunatic is usually said under colloquial speech, but numerous studies have shown that they are real.

Recently, experts on World Science Festival in New York, have discussed on this phenomenon, and from four science contenders - three of them have some mental disorder.

Kay Redfield Jameson, clinical psychologist and professor on "John Hopkins" University, stated that revelations of about twenty studies - support the fact of existing so called „tormented geniuses“

From numerous kinds of psychosis, creativity is the most connected one with mood disorders, especially with bipolar disorder - from what suffers the Jameson herself.

For instance, one study has tested intelligence of 700.000 , 16 year old Sweden's.They have been followed in next 10 years to report will someone of them get some kind of mental disorder.

"It has been revealed that persons who showed the best results on tests, have four times bigger chance of suffering from bipolar disorder. - she says.

Bipolar disorder : represent drastic mood changes, that vary and lead from being extremely happy (mania) to deep depression.

Waves of Creativity

Of course, no one has such kinds of creativity "waves" in serious cases of depression and schizophrenia.

All the more, these states can be life-threatening, even tho all of humanity benefits from these "tormented genius", those individuals usually don't realize how brilliant they are.

„I think that creativity is just one part of something that's generally very bad" - Sax says.

The Sky Is Limit

The study of another study-participant James Fallon, the neuron-biologist on University of California - Irvine, points out the answer.

„People with bipolar disorder are creative when they are in phase of deep depression“, says Fallon.

When mood of the patient changes, his brain activity changes too, activity slows in the lower part of the frontal lobe and the "moves" in the upper parts.

It's interesting that this kind of change, is happening when people have "the wave" of creativity.

When that kind of activity, transfers into thinking, people with psychosis do not filter the external stimulants like it's case with another kind of people. - Eleen Sax explains, the professor of mental health on South California's University.

Actually, they are capable of holding up the stimulant contradictions in their ideas, and they became aware of associations, which other people don't have.


Even tho invasion of non-sense in level of sense is very difficult, "it can be also very creative" - Sax says, which has began to suffer from schizophrenia while she was very young.

For example, in studies about making associations, in which participants have had an task.Task was to indicate what they associate with stimulating word - for example : "lala" .
It has shown out that persons with bipolar disorder, which are in phase of mild mania can generate three times more associations, in compare with other participants.

So, persons that don't have any limitations in a meaning of ideas, mainly in their life - do something "big".

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    • badegg profile image

      Del Banks 

      6 years ago from Southern Appalachians

      Very interesting ideas here. It makes me wonder about myself! I voted up and interesting. Great hub!

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