From New Scientist
CREATIVE yet difficult people are often described as having an “artistic temperament”. Now there may be evidence for it. The link between creativity and bipolar disorder, or manic depression, has long been noted (New Scientist, 29 October, p 40), and it has been suggested that bipolar episodes fuel creativity. But a new study suggests bipolar disorder and creativity actually share a common root.
Kiki Chang and Terence Ketter of Stanford University in California studied the children of adult sufferers of bipolar disorder who either had it too or were at high risk of developing it. On a creativity test measuring responses to line drawings, both groups of children outscored healthy volunteers (Journal of Psychiatric Research, vol 39, p 623), suggesting bipolar episodes are not necessary for creativity. Instead, Ketter suggests that creativity and bipolar disorder link to “temperamental” characteristics like irritability.