artistic temperament EA Poe
An often “quirky” personality profile that is well-described in writers, artists, and composers which, in the extreme case, borders on mental illness.
Men have called me mad, but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence-whether much that is glorious-whether all that is profound-does not spring from disease of thought-from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect–Edgar Allen Poe.
Artists may suffer major depression1, bipolar disorder2, cyclothymia, or commit suicide3; episodes of hypomania4 may form the “substrate” for creative bursts5
1Characterised by apathy, lethargy, hopelessness, insomnia, slowed movement and thought, and total anhedonia–lack of pleasure for otherwise enjoyable life events 2Manic-depressive disease, which with cyclothymia is thought to be 10-20 times more common among artists than in the general population 3The suicide rate among artists is up to 18 times the rate of the general population 4characterised by expansive moods, increased self-esteem, insomnia, abundant energy, irritability, rapid movement of thought and fluid movement from one subject to another 5Composer Robert Schumann produced most of his musical works in 1840 and 1849, both of which were years during which he was described as hypomanic–i.e., “nuts” .