“You’re A Mutant!”

I’ve made 8 posts now (why, yes, I DID go count it) about the fact that my ex-husband basically used this comment anytime my life experience was different or not what he expected from the rest of humanity.  In the beginning of the relationship, it was something he was proud of because essentially I was willing to look past his choices and protect him from consequences.

It’s only when my thoughts began to diverge with his opinion on things that it started to become a negative.

My previous post spoke about watching The Imitation Game, (a movie about Alan Turing). But I had not yet finished the movie.

When I was much younger, I cried at the drop of a hat. In fact, well into my teen years, I cried and raged a lot.  It was one of the reasons behind my father stating he would not discuss something until I could look at it logically.  Sadly, instead of taking this as advice to calm down before discussing an issue with someone, I went too far to the other end of the spectrum. I developed that Robot/Ice Queen persona that I discussed in an earlier post.

Crying is something I have in the past despised in myself.  I have considered it weak.  Yes, I am learning differently now, but it still can strike a nerve.

But, the movie struck me so strongly, that yes, I cried at the end. And it encouraged me to do some additional research.

There are a lot of opinions out there in regards to the correlation of mental illness and the creative spark.  There are even studies out there about it.  But, sadly, by definition most studies have to be retrospective, because you cannot tell at birth, or even necessarily at a young age, whether someone is going to be a creative genius or not.

Yes, you can tell with some so-called creative prodigiesBut prodigies like that are rare, and some peak in their childhood then fade into normality as they get older.

Speaking to my sister, in order to adequately prove the existence of a causative link between mental illness and the creative spark would require a study that could never get funding, because the portion of the population they would need to study is far, far too large, and the percentage of the population in general who can be assessed as a Creative Genius is minuscule.  The minimum IQ for a genius is 130 (yes, I am aware there is some controversy over the calculations of IQ), which is ONLY approximately 2% of the WORLD’S population. (as a curiosity side-note, most of the people in my family have IQs that range between 125-130). The odds someone is a genius are approximately 1 in every 1,000,000 people (yes, that’s 1:1,000,000 or 1 in a million).

But, there are thousands of years of  anecdotal evidence for the correlation between genius and mental illness (or sometimes referred to as “madness.”  The first noting of it was approximately the time of Aristotle (somewhere between 400 and 350 B.C.E.).

I’m not willing to jump onto that anecdotal wagon, but it does make me think.

The reason I was so affected by the fictional depiction of Alan Turing is that because he was convicted and punished for being homosexual, he was offered 1 of 2 punishments for his crime.  Either prison (which would have ended his personal research) or chemical castration. The depiction of Mr. Turing in the movie implied serious physical side effects, but also gave somewhat of a nod to further evidence that he may not have committed suicide, but accidentally ingested cyanide.

But, similar issues are happening today.  It is simply not that people are being chemically destroyed for non-psychological urges.  But, there are creative geniuses out there who are unable to continue their particular creativity because of the medication they receive for their chemically-based mental illnesses.

And trust me, it takes a LOT of personal strength to insist that your doctor keep looking for a medication that will keep the chemical balance under control while allowing the person to still access the FULL spark if their creativity.  Everyone’s body chemistry is different, so for different people the same medication may not be useful.

Additionally, it has some personal mental connections for me, but kind of in the other direction.  I used to believe that my creativity was….shall we say “defective”… because I felt it was too primitive.  I didn’t have the fine motor control to be better without a lot of other (some quite expensive) purchases nor the time to practice.  And photography has never been one of my strong points either.

It took me learning how to use Adobe products to support my web design/development to even begin to think about creating art again.  AND it took losing my access to my other creative outlets (everything but this blogging and the photo-manipulation) to push me into creating art again.  And, now, I feel like I am actually doing what I SHOULD have been doing all along.  I am actually fulfilled by working on my art.

Here’s a point I want people to think about.  Every time you tell a friend or family that she or he should “just take a pill, and get over it” I want you to THINK.  I want you to be aware that what you are saying to that person is that they are not worthy enough of your time for them to find out what medication actually works the best for them.  You just want them to be medicated so that YOU don’t have to deal with their chemical imbalance in your life.

 

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