Crazy Writers, Actually Crazy?
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
The first time I heard the story of Virginia Woolf filling her pockets with stones and walking purposely into the water to drown, I wondered if all writers were crazy.
Suicidal, emotional wrecks, wastes and skeletons of former people.
Well, it turns out to be a possibility.
Recent research has managed to show “that the dopamine system in healthy, highly creative people is similar in some respects to that seen in people with schizophrenia.”
Apparently, creative artists share quite a few things with Bipolar and Schizophrenic patients; the ability to make “unusual or somewhat bizarre” associations, and general abilities in divergent thinking. “Thinking outside the box by having a less intact box.”
“The study shows that highly creative people who did well on the divergent tests had a lower density of D2 receptors in the thalamus than less creative people,” says [one researcher].
As an aspiring writer, I find this all quite exciting. I get to see and expose a ‘different’ world without being committed. Of course, it’s quite possible I have none of these traits––that I’m the least creative, most sane psuedo-writer ever to grace the Internet––but it’s fun to pretend.
I feel a little crazy, anyway.