Psychology, Wells College
In your dissertation/thesis - did you look at creativity levels pre and post medication or only people who were and weren’t diagnosed? Also with what? Because from what I understand of Kay Redfield Jamison’s work, the only people who are more creative than well medicated “crazy people” (the studies specifically looked at bipolar and schizophrenia) were bipolar people during short bursts of mostly functional mania/hypomania. Basically, on average, these people, medicated WELL (not overmedicated) are more creative than average on average because of neurological differences in associational thinking. And medicated poorly it isn’t really worth talking about because creativity measured without production or ability to produce is basically a “how many words can you list in a minute” test.
So I call bullshit on your thesis. It’s poisonous reasoning that gets real people killed and fans the flames of toxic movements that either fetishize people with different brains or talk them out of getting help.
Oh look, somebody who is feeling more articulate than me and can cite studies! Yes person please go on. <3
Kay Redfield Jamison is one of the Big Names in bipolar research right now. She’s bipolar herself and a huge huge advocate of medicating. I went to a talk of hers where she pointed out things like a lot of the conditions people with this toxic position of “ooo look these people are more creative” are talking about - which is basically mood disorders and psychotic disorders and the few overlapping ones, have a tendency to get worse with time untreated and that people like to beat around the bush, but they can absolutely be fatal (now a-days because of self endangerment or suicide so they don’t get ruled as cause of death, but before good er care, people would die of other related complications.) She basically says even if medication reduces creativity, which is hard to measure at best, it does so only during peaks of elevated mood, and it prevents not only pesky things like death, but also increases creativity during lows.
Basically, the point is, these issues are not isolated to whatever reseptors the drug works on. They are more wide spread in the brain than that. Especially if someone has been untreated enough to get a diagnosis in a semi-emergency setting - if you are at the point where you are having symptoms that are complicating your life, congratulations, your brain is no longer wired quite like a normal person.
In fact, especially with bipolar and schizophrenia, her data suggests, the creative wiring might be as innate as the condition - studies show that people who are blood relatives of people with these conditions also have heightened creativity - so it isn’t the days of not being able to get out of your bed that make you good at art, it’s the way your brain is built. And they are almost certainly related - but you can sure as hell take care of one without getting rid of the other.
That isn’t to say all psych meds are always harmless. Some are really not good for some people. Some will have lasting effects even if you go off of them, even if most don’t. Some will make you gain weight that you can’t ever really lose or keep off. Some will change your habits (or in my case, gave me the ability to chug a liter of water in half a minute), but there is no crazy and creative switch in there that you have to flip together.
Yes to all of this. Thank you. Also, creativity is useless without the drive to actually do something creative, which in my experience goes waaay down when you aren’t properly treated/medicated (at least in the case of anxiety/depression stuff). You can be the most creative person in the world, but if you can’t muster the energy to get out of bed then there’s no point.