“The potent mix of creativity and madness is imposed on writers and creative artists by the randomness of a genetic dice roll, but many artists with healthy minds choose to accept the Faustian bargain and induce madness with drugs to reach new summits in their art.”
Creativity, Madness and Drugs, a guest article by R. Douglas Fields on Scientific American, explores an idea that we’re endlessly fascinated with: that madness, whether temporarily self-induced by drugs or a diagnosed permanence, is often integral to the creative experience.
“But there is a critical distinction separating artists who endure mental illness and create art from those who take drugs to create. The creative work of an artist who overcomes their mental illness—often by turning to art and literature to help them cope—is an inspirational personal triumph. But the creative work of a person who induces mental imbalance pharmacologically is the product of a drug.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Creativity, Madness and Drugs by R. Douglas Fields