evolutionary significance of emotions !!

Nick Medford nick at hermit0.demon.co.uk
Thu Mar 2 14:52:53 EST 2000


In article <Opa63NCh$GA.259 at cpmsnbbsa05>, sisial
<sisial at email.msn.com> writes
>While not all depressed individuals are highly creative, there certainly
>appears to be a higher incidence of depression in highly creative
>individuals. In this sense, an association between creativity and depression
>may exist.
>
>In "The Price of Greatness: Resolving the Creativity and Madness
>Controversy", Arnold Ludwig presents findings that:
>
>50-67% of artists studied displayed symptoms of severe depression as adults
>at rates twice normal, and 11-17% displayed symptoms of mania. 28% displayed
>symptoms of mania at the peak of their careers.
>
>25-33% of scientists studied displayed symptoms of severed depression as
>adults. 3% displayed symptoms of mania at the peak of their careers.
>
>(Estimates for lifetime risk of developing severe depression is, I believe,
>around 8% in females and 0.3% in males. Estimates for lifetime risk of
>developing bipolar disorder is around 0.7% in both females and males.)
>
>In "Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic
>Temperament", Kay Jamieson presents similar findings. These are perhaps the
>most often quoted studies, but there are plenty of others.

Anthony Storr has also written well on the psychology of creativity and
possible relationship with mental distress of various kinds.

[snip]
>
>As for "normal individuals with a devastating disorder", this seems an
>oxymoron.

Quite true! The word "normal" is a minefield and best avoided in these
discussions.
-- 
Nick Medford




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