How smart people are sadder
Those who are smart are more likely to get depressed
Nathan Csonka / FlickrSmart people seem to have an easier time in life. You study at great universities, get the best jobs and win at “Wer wird Millionär”.
But a lot of intelligence also has its downsides, says a study by the University of Glasgow:
According to this, children with a high IQ suffer more often from mental illness than adults.
"It is possible that serious mental illnesses are the price people have to pay for above-average intelligence, creativity and language skills," said study director Daniel Smith, summarizing his results in the British newspaper "The Guardian". He and his team accompanied 1,881 people for their study.
All participants took an intelligence test at the age of eight and were then tested a second time around 15 years later, this time for mental illness. A special questionnaire was used that doctors use to diagnose bipolar disorder. This is a state in which those affected experience alternating phases of euphoria, felt invincibility and pronounced depression - a serious illness. (For TV fans: Agent Carrie suffers from this in the series "Homeland".)
Victor / FlickrAmazing result: The ten percent of test subjects who had the strongest signs of bipolar disorder had an IQ ten points higher as a child than the ten percent at the lower end of the psychological susceptibility. In other words, intelligence and at least this mental illness seem to be related.
Of course, not every clever person automatically becomes manic-depressive or otherwise mentally ill. Rather, it seems that the same genes responsible for intelligence and creativity can also trigger mental illness, says researcher Smith: "A high IQ is not a clear trigger for bipolar disorder, but the genes that inherit intelligence may trigger it , the disease from when other risk factors are added. For example, if the person concerned was sexually abused as a child or the mother was sick with the flu during pregnancy. "
According to Smith, more research is needed to establish the relationship and shed light on the details of the correlation. It is to be hoped for those affected. All other people with a penchant for black eyes and Weltschmerz can meanwhile convince themselves that they are simply smarter than the rest.
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