15 Dec Are Creatives More Likely to Be Addicts?
The spread of addiction has been prevalent in all parts of American society. It has reached into every demographic, rich and poor, young and old, without discrimination. However, there is one group of people who seem to struggle with addiction far more than others: those who are creatively predisposed. For some reason, creative individuals tend to head down a road of addiction at a much higher rate than those who are less creative. This brings up an interesting question. Why is this the case? The truth, as always, is complicated and messy. However, a few distinct factors are prevalent…
The personality effect
The link between addiction and creativity does not stem from creativity leading to addiction, but the building blocks of a person’s personality that makes them creative might also make them more predisposed to being at risk for addiction. A creative individual is far more likely to bend the rules, a trait that derives from the same principle as “thinking outside the box.” The stigmas placed on certain substances might not have the same impact that they would on a person who is more inclined to stay in line. This might make an individual more likely to use substances in a self-serving way, which can set a person on the path of addiction.
On top of the rebellious nature of creativity, creative people, especially ones who tend to shape our culture in an impactful way, are driven by discovery. To know is not enough, for the creative-minded. Pushing boundaries and finding things out for oneself are traits to be valued in the creative world. However, while this works great for artistic inclination, it can have an adverse effect when it comes to the world of addiction. This is because compulsivity is neither an inherently negative or positive trait, but one that can have both negative and positive consequences.
Creative social circles
Another factor to this phenomenon can possibly be attributed to a different socialization. Creative people are more likely to engage in social circles with other creatively-minded individuals. Human beings are very social creatures, and are heavily influenced by the behavior that we see and interact with. If everyone in a social circle has the same behavioral tendencies that were outlined above, then they will be compounded in a group setting. This can create an environment where immense creative work can thrive, but can also lead to more risk-taking behavior, such as substance abuse.