Lately, I’d been seriously worried about my cognitive health. I can’t remember names of old acquaintances; common, everyday words have been erased from my brain’s hard drive; and I have an overwhelming desire to smack Honey Boo Boo, a darling reality TV child.
But I’m feeling better now. I just read about a Swedish study that found writers have a higher risk than other folks of suffering from anxiety, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, unipolar depression and substance abuse. Now maybe I don’t have advancing dementia. Am I’m just a depressed, uptight drunk?
Interestingly, creative types taken as a whole — dancers, artists, photographers and writers — aren’t crazier than the general population. It seems it’s just the writers that spin off to la-la land.
That begs two questions. Are people more attracted to becoming writers because of their already poor mental health? Or does writing mess up our brains once we make it a career?
I need to go think about that while I fire a few more darts at a photo of Honey Boo Boo making funny faces. And I’ll be careful with the darts. Writers are twice as likely to commit suicide.