Have you ever stopped to consider the number of celebrities, stars, entertainers, artists and writers that have reported mental health issues? And, in thinking on the topic, have you ever stopped to consider how this trend seems to be anything but modern?
Looking back on history it seems obvious that some of the most famous people of times long past had mental health problems, although at the time they were largely misunderstood or wrongly attributed to a variety of factors. Historically people such as Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Ludwig van Beethoven, Vincent Van Gogh, Virginia Woolf as well as Vivian Leigh, Tennessee Williams, Janis Joplin and Jane Pauley all were or could have been diagnosed with depression.
More recently a significant number of stars and celebrities have come forward about their diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Researchers no longer think this is a coincidence and several studies have demonstrated a link between the two. Mental health disorders, particularly those classed as mood disorders, are more common in people with high levels of creativity than in the average population.
In a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine children were shown series of drawings. Some were very simple while others were more complex and abstract. Interestingly enough children that had parents with bipolar disorder or in a high risk group for bipolar were more likely to like the complex, abstract pictures and dislike the simple drawings compared to their low risk peers. This preference for creativity may chart their pathway in their personal and professional lives.
In addition research has tentatively demonstrated that specific types of creative professions tend to draw people that have a higher rate of a specific mental health condition. If this is correct than it may not be the case of the career causing the problem but rather the person with the condition choosing that career.
Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life, Love & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your free E book “Filling The Empty Heart” and your “Are You a Love Addict Quiz?” at www.sherrygaba.com Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Take Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook Filling the Empty Heart: 5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction.