Illness as Inspiration
But at least one professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
reels at what he calls a stereotype -- the mental illness-inspiration link.
"That's folklore," Randy Vick, MS, tells WebMD. "Creative people
have diabetes, cancer, mental illness. It's a kind of discrimination, a
romanticizing of mental illness. It doesn't hold up. People in any field have
those tremendous bursts of energy, whether they are carpenters, farmers, or
artists. It's a terrible stereotype that's not doing anyone a favor."
Whether medication is detrimental to the creative process is controversial,
Rothe tells WebMD. "Some believe a little creativity is lost. ... But the
artist who becomes too manic-depressive, too psychotic, or depressed is not
functional. The idea with medication is to bring them to the point where they
can function but still retain their creativity."