Review paper. Does genius border on insanity? Part I: A relationship between creativity and the presence of psychopathological symptoms in bipolar disorder

Olga Nowacka 1 , Henryk Welcz 2 , and Hanna Karakuła-Juchnowicz 3 , 4
  • 1 Student Research Group at the Department of Clinical Neuropsychiatry at the Chair of Psychiatry Medical University of , Lublin, Poland
  • 2 I Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy end Early Intervention, Medical University of , Lublin, Poland
  • 3 I Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy end Early Intervention, Medical University of Lublin, , Lublin, Poland
  • 4 Department of Clinical Neuropsychiatry, Medical University of , Lublin, Poland


The theory linking the development of mental disorders with the processes of human evolution assumes that these disorders may be the result of a side effect of natural and sexual selection processes. Creativity is one of the adaptive features associated with the increased incidence of psychopathological symptoms (as compared to the general population).

In this review paper, the definition of creativity has been characterized, and contemporary existing theories on its background, have been presented. Also, the paper describes the relationship between creativity and the presence of psychopathological symptoms. Special attention has been paid to the relationship between creativity and bipolar disorder.

The research results prove the existence of a correlation between a high level of creativity and a higher prevalence of psychopathological symptoms, particularly concerning the symptoms of bipolar disorder spectrum.

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