It has been observed that some creative and exceptionally brilliant people many times live with some form of psychological disturbances. It was said that one of America’s greatest presidents Abraham Lincoln, had a long standing battle with depression yet, he was acknowledged as one of the most successful presidents the United States ever had.
A few factors are responsible for the link between creativity and psychological problems. Many people going through emotional difficulties usually detest the unpleasant feelings of such experience. So they might want to let that internal turmoil out through creative ventures like songwriting, painting, poetry and other means. Some people try to release these same disturbances through unbecoming actions such as engaging in uncontrolled sexual activities, spending spree, reckless driving and other vices.
Another connection between psychological disorders and creativity can be drawn from the example of bi-polar depression. During the episode of intense sadness, some individuals can take that time to explore deeply inside themselves and bring forth some highly creative piece. You might have heard of some category of songs referred to as ‘sad songs.’ The songs are sad in mode and tone but usually rich in expression and beauty. On the other hand, people having a flight of ideas are also known to exude a lot of creative energy in that phase. Going back to the Abraham Lincoln example, it was noted that he wrote many of his outstanding speeches during phases of flight of ideas.
The connection between creativity and abnormality can also be explained that creativity readily provides the platform for emotionally disturbed people to express themselves in an atmosphere of acceptability. A piece of poetry or painting about a gory thing such as death by a schizophrenic would be more acceptable because it is presented as a work of art.
In spite of the link between emotional problems and creativity, it cannot be stamped that one causes the other. There are so many creative people that are not in any way abnormal. Also, knowing that psychological disorders can be highly degenerative and cause intellectual dysfunctionality for the sufferer, creative abilities would be more pronounced in people with mild forms of disorders.
The next time you come across someone with an emotional problem, seek clinical help for them and look out for signs of creativity in such people. That piece of poetry, art, painting or song you are admiring or listening to might be an expression of some turmoil that raged deep inside the mind of the artist.