LUMINA Volume 21 No. 2


by Dr. Stanley Krippner

During waking states, there is evidence suggesting that there are healthy benefits for creativity, even in the context of bipolar spectrum mood disorders, as well as in daily life; yet creativity may be pathologized and misunderstood because of its assumed links with pathology or "abnormalities"—even when this creativity serves a healthy purpose. Furthermore, creativity is sometimes pathologized or stereotyped for people without a bipolar diagnosis—for example, the unkempt inventor, the absentminded professor, the antisocial artist—and these stereotypes may include young people whose nonconformity is not always understood or appreciated. Meanwhile, creative functioning may be very valuable indeed, and may be further understood using dynamic models of brain function including "edge of chaos" phenomena, certainly as a metaphorically and perhaps as a psychoneurological descriptor. In view of these data, society might value innovative "divergence" rather than assuming that deviations from what is "normal" are invariably "pathological." Indeed, creative personality traits may be useful predictors for the enhanced generation of divergent thought, perhaps because a greater proximity to the "edge of chaos" provides a useful fit with nonlinear dynamic models.

Read the rest of the article. (Acrobat Reader or similar software is required)