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Thread: The downside of artistic brilliance

  1. #1

    The downside of artistic brilliance

    I just read an article in a magazine thing called ^

    Two Studies have shown that artistic creativity may be bad for your health. Iconic jazz musicians tend to suffer more from mental health problems and psychotic disorders, while poets have been found to die younger then any other type of writer. A study of 40 jazz musicians for the British Journal of Psychiatry, including Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, found high levels or drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness. Jazz musicians were found to be eight times more likely to suffer from drug dependency then the rest of the population, while 30 percent of jazz musicians suffered from mental problems, including mood disorders. Research in America found that poets also suffer for their art. The image of poets as doomed and tragic figures, who are bound to die young, often through suicide of self-neglect, can be backed up by research. Data on 1,987 writers was analyzed. The poets lived an average of 62.2 years, while non-fiction writers lived for 67.9 years.


  2. #2
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    interesting indeed!!! de hi hi ho ho

    ok let me get serious and give you my opinions,
    1) Don't believe anything you read, even if its science. I am a kind of scientist for now (well not full fletched maybe an apprentice?), in a different area maybe. Something if you were in the field you'd find out not everyone agrees with that, or that the interpretation of the journalist was far more straight forward than the actual researcher wrote himself. Obviously this is because the journalist wants to make people read his article and understand.

    Both on the scientist behalf and the journalist there **might** be other interests e.g. financial - they might need financial sponsorship, increase in pay etc.

    I'm not downgrading the research or anything, just warning you for a general case - kinda take it with a pinch of salt ok?

    2) One other thing, i don't want to start wars or anything just that i always wondered if people become famous because they die early or because they really deserve it! i can't answer that honestly but that question often comes to my mind. Indeed i'm aware that both cases are possible and have in fact proved themselves in the past.

    3) Also consider the side effects of the mentioned conditions. The restrain they give you on the person itself are so drastic that probably music becomes some form of relief - so its like pure form of emotion? Bah i don't know how to explain my point further. Ever happened to anyone that on a really intense day (good or bad) their playing seems to improve drastically? I might add emotional sensitivity (whatever the form) helps musicians much i'd say.

    4) So practicing includes heavy drinking too? Why isn't there an article on that? Kids ignore this i'm joking!
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  3. #3
    Hey, who said I believed it?

  4. #4
    Registered User SeattleRuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Hey - it's a generalization but it's pretty much on the money.
    Musicians, artists, poets - these are by definition very sensitive people. People with very "big antenae", as it were. Having this kind of sensitivity is both a blessing and a curse. Drugs and alcohol can sort of slow down the flow of information, sort of de-sensitize the antenae for some temporary relief.
    Now, if you combine this with the fact that many young artists will model their behavior after their idols, many who are like the above, it's no suprise that lots of artists / musicians have drug depencies and mental health issues.


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