Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Beethoven, Michelangelo, Charles Dickens and more have all been considered some of the most brilliant, creative geniuses of our time – but all of them have also been suggested to have had a mental illness. Whether it was depression, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, autism or something else, each of these amazing, historical figures have shown us the truth nature of creativity – for example, Beethoven’s symphonies are regarded as some of the most beautiful pieces of music ever heard and Charles Dickens wrote some of the most descriptive and beautifully compelling books in the world of literature. It has long been questioned whether mental illness is related to creativity, and researchers have been studying this phenomenon for years.

A 2015 study published in the journal Frontier Psychology introduces the challenges with this sort of question – exactly how is creativity measured? What qualifies as creativity? What aspects of a person’s cognitive and behavioral capabilities lend to creativity? Of course, creativity is subjective and, to each person, may be viewed differently. Back in 1998, a study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry involved the review various literatures pertaining to mental illness and creativity to see what current research at that time depicted. Of 29 studies that were analyzed, 15 found no evidence proving this theory correct; 9 studies found positive evidence, and 5 studies produced findings that were unclear. Much of this information about mental illness and creativity reflects today’s perspectives, indicating that there is no direct link between mental illness and creativity.

Some disorders, like bipolar disorder, however, have been shown to be more creative due to the risk-taking, impulsive and/or depressive nature that can be experienced with the disorder. In other words, it likely just depends on who you are! If you have a mental illness and you don’t consider yourself creative, don’t fret. You’re not the only one – there are even activities that you can partake in to help boost your creativity if you’d like, such as: drawing, writing, painting, singing, acting, creating something, building something, playing an instrument, developing a game, and much more. Don’t put a limit to your happiness. Creativity is something that can become inspired and strengthened over time, you just have to set your mind to it.

If you’ve been experiencing distress due to a mental illness, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn more about treatment programs and how they could be of benefit to you. It’s never too late to seek help.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.

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