Creatividad y locura: ¿Sinónimos?

There is a saying that says “crazy people dedicate to arts.” It is not unknown that madness and creativity are divided by a thin limit. Concerning this, madness goes beyond reason and creativity pretends to explore unknown territories, to go to unexplored places, to create and explore new things, it even questions stablished elements.

A study shows that more than 150,000 Europeans link creativity with genes related to schizophrenia or bipolarity. However, it is not proven that creativity and madness are the same or represent something similar. On the contrary, both have different signs and marks. Therefore, main premise says that although these are not equal, these are not different enough still.

It is well-known that artists are considered as beings affected by a kind of abnormality, psychotic tendencies or a disease related to these both. In fact, Karolinska Institutet investigators in stockholm (Sweden) have proven that people who work in creative jobs usually require mental health treatment because they are more prone to suffer anxiety and depression. It is not rare that geniuses – scientist or artists – have an additional 50% in suicide rate compared to general population.

Artists seek to have a different view about things. This leads them, sometimes, to have psychotic states and even hallucinations. Mind works like a machine by questioning “what” and “why.”

Paul Gauguin, Georgia O´Keefe, Mark Rothko, and Van Gogh, among others were prone to have depression, suicide attempts and specially stormy thought other big artists suffered. There is a psychological factor that would increase bipolarity or any mental disease due to the mental and physical exploration it demands: Art.

The relationship between madness and creativity is not totally proven. There have been previously mentioned rates and studies, but are these just mere coincidence? An article of the Scientific American was based on a study that lasted more than 40 years and was tested in 1,2 million people. It showed that creative people are people who are in constant growth and are happier and more functional than those who do not perform their own creativity. It was even discovered that art, writing, and music can enhance the immune system.

What is the truth then? There are many studies that show examples of artists that are almost crazy. On many of these cases, creative influence seems to be an answer to this psychological demand. It will be always be a theme to discuss, specially if there are counterarguments. Whether you like it or you do not, creativity can be positive and negative. What is clear is that art is always genuine.

“I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.” – Vincent Van Gogh



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