# Is there a relationship between schizophrenia and genius

When reading the biography of renowned personalities (recognized as "geniuses" ), such as great mathematicians, painter or poets, we are surprised by the fact that great portion of this "population" have developed Schizophrenia disorder (for instance the well-know mathematician John NASH).

Is there a proven correlation between schizophrenia(or other mental disorders) and genius, and did this disorder push the cognitive abilities of these personalities to higher limits?

You may say that these personalities have developed this disorder as a consequence of being addicted to drugs or any other not healthy style of life,but what i mean is that schizophrenia was first then they were genius (and this can be generalized to other disorders such as epilepsy).

"Nietzsche","Van Gogh" and "Guy de Maupassant" were paradoxically as creative and productive as they were developing some type of mental disorder !

yes ,i know this is weird but let me reframe my question as :

is it possible that a mental affection modify the way our brain works to make it better even with some side effects ?

[so,can we see some day this disorders as some type of "misunderstood brain expressions",a brain that tries to be better... ]

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There is a correlation between schizophrenia and some type of drug addiction, whether this is more noticeable amongst geniuses because of the public attention some may get, or there is a larger proportion of drug taking geniuses, would be interesting to know –  user3543 Nov 1 '13 at 4:31
Kurt Gödel and Georg Cantor were also "geniuses" with some kind of mental "disorder" (loosely speaking) but that doesn't prove any myth about crazy genius. –  909 Niklas Nov 1 '13 at 13:58
@909Niklas true, anecdotal evidence is just that.. –  user3543 Nov 2 '13 at 12:00
Sounds like you're more interested in mental disorders and intelligence (not just schizophrenia). One factor is that aspects of mental disorders can contribute to creative intelligence. For example, a disordered brain may produce more lateral pattern matching (connecting disparate phenomena), which can in certain circumstances be considered as increased creativity. Or another example, consider latent inhibition (how capable is the brain of ignoring already-processed stimuli). So there are certainly aspects that can contribute to both mental disorder and "measures of intelligence". –  BenCole Nov 4 '13 at 14:18
Also, there are also correlations between increased intelligence and drug use (to counter-set the point of drug use and schizophrenia being correlated). –  BenCole Nov 4 '13 at 14:20