Madness and Genius2024-02-05

A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.

Bertrand Russell

The margin between madness and genius is thin, and easily crossed. Psychosis means you are a contrarian (about reality) and wrong. Creativity means you are a contrarian and right. That is the secret to outsized success, as Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and many others throughout history have shown.

On the medical side, it is important to diagnose early and treat correctly psychosis, as it usually manifests in young adulthood, a prime period of life. Stress and drugs, including marijuana, are precipitating factors, on a background of genetic vulnerability. If left unchecked psychosis leads to accumulating biological damage (on the brain and the body), social damage, and psychological damage – living in a mental prison beset by uncertainty and fears, at times seeking escape in suicide, violence, or addictions.

Fortunately, biologically, some of the existing medications work quite well if initiated early in the right patients. Social support is paramount, and once those two are in place, psychological support and therapy work as well. There is still plenty left to understand and apply about cognition and its abnormalities on the scientific side, better diagnostics are being developed by us and others, and better treatments as well. There is reason for optimism in this era of emerging precision psychiatry.

Join me live this Thursday February 8, 2024 at 5:30PM EST for a 30 minute webinar and Q&A on: Schizophrenia—Life Sentence or Manageable Chronic Condition? Register Here