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The miscellaneous writings of Mark Bridgeman

Why do many very creative or highly intelligent people suffer mental illness?

I think everyone across the swathe of human creativity and intelligence is capable of suffering mental illness to the same degree. We have tropes in society along the lines of tortured dreamer or genius and madness going hand in hand etc, but I don’t think that’s entirely true.

I am not claiming to be highly intelligent or creative but I have suffered from mental illness and still do and for me the mundanity of life has always been the problem.

There’s so many noble and great things that we can all do, yet we’re held back from doing them by people around us that don’t see any value in our ideals and visions, who being unable to appreciate your dreams actively block you from achieving them.

This is the curse of the mentally ill young, as you get older thankfully you can learn to overcome the disapproval and hostility of other people but it can lead to you being lonely and lacking in the energy that you need to achieve your goals.

Young people see things that are wrong with the world (and quite rightly so) and want to put things right and being unable to do so feel stifled. Older people learn to put up with the world as it is and make their peace with it, despite the fact that there’s still much about it that they see as wrong or just plain nonsensical. It’s hard to live in a world that does not share your values.

It’s awful to be pushed into a job or a role in life that you have no passion for. It’s soul destroying to go to work everyday at a job that you hate, working for a company that does not share your values.

You might be an environmentalist, who wants to see the planet’s biosphere preserved for the benefit of all species, meanwhile your company is chopping down trees, bringing up oil or wants to go fracking under your home.

The grind of life can be extremely difficult on the creative and the intelligent because they see it as something unnecessary that we’re all obliged to get on with. It’s literally life just wasting away in front of you.

The fact that we can be born into such a beautiful universe, and find ourselves on a warm and nourishing planet for a limited span of time to wind up spending so much of it doing stuff that is unenjoyable or pointless is so ludicrous as to be a cosmic joke.

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