The BBC highlighted ‘striking similarities in brain scans between highly creative people and schizophrenics’ this week, noting that many of the world’s recognized geniuses have struggled with mental illnesses.
British psychologist Mark Millard suggested highly creative people see unusual patterns and unusual connections prompted by their lack of inhibitions while Chartered psychologist Gary Fitzgibbon emphasized their ability to ‘suspend belief’.
"Creativity is certainly about not being constrained by rules or accepting the restrictions that society places on us,” he added, “(And) of course the more people break the rules, the more likely they are to be perceived as 'mentally ill'."
The report appeared some eight years after a study of legendary jazz musicians discovered that they were four times more likely to use drugs or suffer mental illness than ‘normal’ people.
“I am not saying all jazz musicians are crazy,” report author Dr Wills said in the British Journal of Psychiatry, “But I have highlighted a trend that is comparable with other creative people,” he added.
Dr Willis also noted that jazz music’s greatest innovator of all Miles Davis regularly heard imaginary voices, in keeping with the conclusions of author Richard Bentall who in his book Madness Explained revealed that 6 million Brits do too.
“Research shows that as many as one in ten Britons hears voices,” Mr Bentall told the Sunday Times, “But most are too scared to mention it.”
The link between genius and unconventionality was further emphasized by US news portal cracked.com who in an article dubbed ‘Famous Geniuses You Didn’t Know Were Perverts’ ,analysed the unusual sexual preferences of characters including Irish author James Joyce and Mozart.
In letters written to his mother the iconic composer encouraged her to ‘shit in your bed with all your might, sleep with peace on your mind and try to kiss your own behind’ while to his cousin he wrote he wanted to "shit on her nose" and watch it "drip down her chin."
Legendary 19th century Irish writer James Joyce was similarly inclined, said Cracked.com, as revealed in a collection of his letters to his wife Nora (which were published in 1975).
"It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her,” the author of literary masterpiece Ulysses wrote in one such missive.
“I think I would know Nora's fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart which I imagine fat wives have. It is sudden and dry and dirty like what a bold girl would let off in fun in a school dormitory at night. I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also. "
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