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Down the Rabbit Hole
Paul Kiritsis, PsyD Clinical Psychology, DPhil., MA (History)

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The Creative Advantages of Schizophrenia

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The aphorism that madness and creative genius are opposing sides of the same coin predates contemporary psychiatry and has existed since the time of the great Stagirite Aristotle. Schizophrenia is one mental disorder intimately linked with creative thinking and achievement. There is no shortage of eminent scientists, thinkers, writers, artists, composers, and political activists tentatively theorized to have precariously balanced the great divide between the demons of schizophrenia and the muses of creative illumination–Rene Descartes, Emanuel Swedenborg, John Forbes Nash, Leonardo da Vinci, Joan of Arc, to name but a few. But is that association veracious in an empirical sense? And if it is, how exactly are they related? Using new empirical findings, this book sheds new light upon the age-old assumption and goes further still in explaining how creative potential with world-fashioning powers can be channeled in individuals with this diagnosis. Mental health practitioners will find this book both intriguing and useful.

Reviews

       

“The enigmatic relationship between creativity and the psychopathology of schizophrenia is expertly confronted in this book. Kiritsis’ comprehensive, beautifully written exploration of this perplexing and fascinating topic addresses head-on how creative potential is channeled, and why this is important. As a mental health clinician, art therapist, and scholar, I am most impressed by Kiritsis’s well-informed recommendations for clinical practice related to impact on overall quality of life for persons with schizophrenia and their activities of daily living. The in-depth examination of the link between long-term functional gains in executive functioning and the quality of creative output has implications that extend well beyond the mental health community. This illuminating book is a must-read for all.”
– Donna Betts, PhD, ATR-BC

 

“Anyone deeply interested in the veracity of links between creative genius and psychological disorders will deem this well-written study stimulating and encouraging and find the symbolically related illustrations by the author (and other artists) fascinating.” – Kate Robinson, US Review of Books