Psychology researchers have uncovered a link between creative people and the development of mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and depression.
A propensity in extremely creative individuals to become drug abusers has been studied for centuries, with some experts attributing the link to creatives being hyper sensitive to their environment.
While being creative doesn’t necessarily mean someone will become addicted to drugs, there are certainly many examples where this has indeed been the case.
Researchers believe this could be due to some people having what most know as an “addictive personality”, which is estimated to be about 10 to 15 per cent of the American population, according to Psychology Today.
Personality traits of these individuals usually include not knowing how to stop, and having impulse control issues beyond the level experienced by others.
While there has been extensive effort injected into research in an effort to fight the epidemic, it is still sweeping the planet at an alarming rate.
Many aspects of drug addiction are still unknown, with researchers continuing to examine reasons why some people get addicted and others don’t.
Drug abuse, including alcohol, severely impacts important functions of the brain including parts that control creativity.
There are several examples of drug and alcohol use behind the creativity of famous authors and artists, suggesting drugs have the ability to enhance people’s experiences.
A lowering of inhibition on the creative mind could be one of the reasons this is the case, however it cannot be confused with the belief that using drugs makes someone creative.
While such research makes for interesting findings, they are not without methodology problems such as them having small sample sizes which makes them less representative of the general population.
Both drug addiction and mental health issues are highly stigmatised in modern culture, therefore more work needs to be done in this area to not only in prevention, but to provide effective support to those throes of addiction.
If you’re in Australia and are seeking help with your mental health, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636, or speak with a trusted health care professional.