“There are plenty of geniuses who are not mentally ill, and there are plenty of mentally ill people who aren’t geniuses,” said HuffPost Mental Health Medical Editor Lloyd Sederer, M.D., medical director of the New York State Office of Mental Health.
“Sometimes you have the two combined. When you have geniuses who have such prominence, like Philip Seymour Hoffman or Robin Williams or John Nash, they make you think that this is more common than it is,” said Sederer. “One in four people annually in this country has a mental illness that impairs their function. That’s pretty common. The illness is pervasive. Genius is much more rare.”
The cognitive-neuroscience community is divided on whether a scientific link between creativity and mental illness actually exists.