Chapter 9. The Genius-Insanity Debate: Focus on Bipolarity, Temperament, Creativity and Leadership

  1. Lakshmi N. Yatham4 and
  2. Mario Maj5
  1. Hagop S. Akiskal1,2,3 and
  2. Kareen K. Akiskal3

Published Online: 13 AUG 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661277.ch9

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

How to Cite

Akiskal, H. S. and Akiskal, K. K. (2010) The Genius-Insanity Debate: Focus on Bipolarity, Temperament, Creativity and Leadership, in Bipolar Disorder (eds L. N. Yatham and M. Maj), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470661277.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Department of Psychiatry, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

  2. 5

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples SUN, Naples, Italy

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of California at San Diego, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92161-9116, USA

  2. 2

    San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center (UCA), USA

  3. 3

    International Mood Center, La Jolla, CA 92093-0603, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 AUG 2010
  2. Published Print: 1 OCT 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470721988

Online ISBN: 9780470661277



  • genius-insanity debate - focus on bipolarity, temperament, creativity and leadership;
  • genius-insanity thesis - by Cesare Lombroso;
  • depressive withdrawal, Problemata described mood instability, impulsivity, alcoholism and suicidality;
  • Meehl's concept of schizotypy;
  • affective temperaments and achievement;
  • temperament and bipolar disease - in spectrum concept;
  • Aristotle's Problemata XXX, laying foundations - for subsequent research on creativity;
  • Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS);
  • caring for mental health needs of artists and eminent individuals - handling special psychology, challenging clinical endeavour;
  • Kretschmer's classical treatise - on psychology of men of genius


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • History

  • Methodologic issues

  • Is psychosis relevant to creative genius?

  • Affective temperaments and achievement

  • Toward a synthesis

  • Implications for clinical practice

  • References