Bipolar affective disorder and creativity: implications and clinical management

Compr Psychiatry. May-Jun 1988;29(3):207-17. doi: 10.1016/0010-440x(88)90044-2.


Research on the relationship between creativity and mental illness is summarized, and studies documenting a relationship in writers between creativity and affective illness (particularly bipolar illness) are described. Writers have a high prevalence of affective illness, and both affective illness and creativity have increased frequency in their first-degree relatives. The clinical management of the creative individual is challenging. In general, creative individuals are most productive when their affective symptoms are under good control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / therapy
  • Creativity*
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Mental Disorders / genetics
  • Personality