Monday, June 20, 2011

One flew over the cuckoo's nest, on acting and thinking outside "the box"

What does it mean, being crazy? I am not suprised that they have a hard time finding genes for various mental states.  I have met 30 doctors with my migrains, and they have not managed to "make the same analysis" and only one managed to make the right one. But certain "hard core" states are well defined, which means that we can help more people today.

Vintery, mintery, cutery, corn,
Apple seed and apple thorn,
Wire, briar, limber lock
Three geese in a flock
One flew East
One flew West
And one flew over the cuckoo's nest
 This is the rhyme that inspired the book and later the film "one flew over the cuckoo's nest" (according to wikipedia) about institutionalization of the human mind. You could say that mental illness and creativity does the opposite, deinsitutionlize it, liberates it. I might be the same neurological processes that are involved, and if so why is it expressed in different ways in different humans?
A study from my old “hood” Karolinska Institute studied the old myth; is there an association between mental disorders and creativity. 
The family study combined the Swedish registers and included 300 000 people with severe mental disorder. It was a so called nested case–control study which looked at the likelihood of holding a creative occupation in individuals who had received in-patient treatment for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or unipolar depression between 1973 and 2003 and their relatives without such a diagnosis was compared with that of controls.
The results in the paper; “A familial cosegregation of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with creativity is suggested.” People with manodepression were overrepresented among those with creative jobs. They were also doing "very well" in their professions.
People that held “creative” jobs were found more often in families with mental disorders than in the controls. This indicate a biological process, but could also be environmental, after all families are like small countries with different cultures. Karin Bojs who reports in DN automatic exchanges creative person with genius.
I have a dualistic worldview. I see that imperfections are the drive for movement and evolution, and that this is true for every level of existence, from quantum mechanics, to cell biology, evolution and personal development. If things were perfect we would not exist cause there would be no motivation for movement and change. What some people judge as good other people judge as bad. The presence of cystic fibrosis gene in our gene pool is an example of that (see previous posting
It is chance and change, an ongoing process that is both aiding us and also creating diseases.
Creative states and the mental disorders are related. It is different expression of the same process, can we have one without the other? Can this be a hint of how people with mental disorders can be helped?  Is this something that can be manipulated with therapy?

I am just playing with the how future of psychiatry could look. Instead of trying to kill whatever processes we think are responsible, could their expressions be manipulated? I know people who rely on neuropharmacological treatment to be able to leave their house so I am not having a go at the medical industry (well maybe a bit). I am playing with the thought of instead of hitting what we want to kill, we could hit something that change how the process is expressed in the individual. Can it be supported and other pathways be manipulated...

Yes it is way out and probably wrong....outside the box...hmmm.....should I be worried?

No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.
says Aristotle.
The Image of Jack Nicholson comes from

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