In one study, the team examined the IQ of nearly 2,000 8-year-old children and compared the data with those same children who developed manic traits by the age of 22 or 23. What they discovered is that high childhood IQ was positively associated with bipolar symptoms later in life.
“There is something about the genetics underlying the disorder that is advantageous. One possibility is that serious disorders of mood – such as bipolar disorder – are the price that human beings have had to pay for more adaptive traits such as intelligence, creativity, and verbal proficiency,” said lead researcher Daniel Smith of the University of Glasgow.
But he’s quick to add that having a high IQ is not a clear-cut risk factor for developing the disorder. Instead, other variables — such as environmental influences like exposure to maternal influenza in the womb or childhood sexual abuse — may trigger the illness if there is a genetic tendency for it.
Another study also found a link between genetics, bipolar disorder, and creativity. The researchers reviewed the DNA of over 86,000 people in the search for specific genes that increased the risk of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
They also documented if the individuals were involved in creative fields — like music, dancing, acting, and writing. After analyzing the data, the team found that those who are creative are up to 25 percent more likely to carry genes associated with bipolar and schizophrenia, compared to their non-creative counterparts.
“Our findings suggest that creative people may have a genetic predisposition toward thinking differently, which, when combined with other harmful biological or environmental factors, could lead to mental illness,” said Robert A. Power of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London
For those who are diagnosed with mood disorders, we need to seriously question how many of these highly intelligent and creative individuals are sacrificed on the altar of “normalcy” by way of the pharmaceutical industry — and to what end.
Originally appeared on Wake up world
Written by Carolanne Wright