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Posted: 09/02/2014 8:27 am EDT Updated: 09/10/2014 10:59 am EDT
What Neuroscience Has To Say About The 'Tortured Genius'
very suicide leaves behind mourners grasping for answers, but when the person in question is a high-profile celebrity known to have struggled with
mental health issues (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to- your-health/wp/2014/08/14/the-death-of-robin-williams-prompts- grassroots-conversation-about-mental-health/), it's tempting to fall back on the age-old trope of the "tortured genius." It's an idea deeply embedded in our culture: the artist, musician, poet, novelist or comedian who excels in his or her field, but is tormented by inner demons. By this logic, the coexistence of creativity and mental illness is not a coincidence: The talent and the demons are thought to be inextricably linked. The torment is part of the gift.
The World Health Organization estimates there are 350 million people on the planet (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/) living with DEPRESSION . And the recent death...