June 15, 2004

Link between IQ and Psychosis Risk

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology

A recent study of 50,000+ men indicated that higher IQ scores may decrease the risk for developing psychotic symptoms or disorders. Men with lower-than-average IQ scores had a 40% greater risk of developing schizo-affective disorder, as compared with those subjects with the highest IQ scores. This findings corroborate those of earlier studies, which linked early-onset schizophrenia and lower-than-average childhood education scores. Research also suggests that prenatal stress (i.e. stress during pregnancy) increases risk for the child of both low IQ and schizophrenia - so the research suggests a common mechanism of brain damage caused by stress during pregnancy.

One theory is that IQ may be an outward marker of subtle cerebral disease that could eventually influence development of psychotic symptoms. Another theory is that a higher IQ may bestow protection against psychosis by either influencing interpretation of stimuli and events more accurately. A more accurate interpretation of events, could result in less stress (stress being a factor that has known negative consequences in brain development).

There was no similar link reported between IQ and bipolar disorder. Please note that what this research is saying is that the lower the IQ that a person has, the higher the RISK of schizophrenia. This does not mean that all people with schizophrenia have low IQ - as people like Nobel Laureate John Nash have proven very clearly. All this research means is that the risk of developing schizophrenia seems to be higher for those people with lower IQ.

The Abstract for the Research can be found here:A longitudinal study of premorbid IQ Score and risk of developing schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression, and other nonaffective psychoses

This relationship between lower IQ and Higher Risk of Schizophrenia - has been found in a number of studies - and furthermore - the lower the IQ, the poorer the outcome tended to be. Here are some of those recent studies on this subject:

Factor analysis on the intelligence of patients with schizophrenia

Premorbid IQ and schizophrenia. Increasing cognitive reduction by episodes

Brain volume, asymmetry and intellectual impairment in relation to sex in early-onset schizophrenia.

Decreased level of psychobiological factor novelty seeking and lower intelligence in men latently infected with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii Dopamine, a missing link between schizophrenia and toxoplasmosis?

IQ in childhood psychiatric attendees predicts outcome of later schizophrenia at 21 year follow-up

To find more of these studies - go to www.pubmed.org and type in "schizophrenia and IQ".

Of possible relevance to this issue is recent research that suggests that the vitamin supplement called Choline - when taken by pregnant mothers - can substantially improve the brain function and memory capacity (ie. IQ or intelligence) of children and this effect continues through to adulthood (at least in Rats and Mice so far tested - it will obviously take 20 to 40 years for this to be proven in people). Given that Rats have proven to be very good models for how drugs work in human brains, there is good reason for believing that this research that was done in rats will also hold true for humans. For more information on this see the following link:
Choline Supplementation During Pregnancy Improves Brain Function throughout lifespan of child, and May Reduce Risk of Schizophrenia


What absolute garbage!!! My son (with SZ) and his wife (with SZ-affective) were identified in the top 2% of IQ in their early high school years. If anything, a high IQ seems to predispose them. Anyone who has had an involvement with people who develop an SZ mental illness will tell you that it seems to happen to the smartest people!

Posted by: Glesgalass at June 16, 2004 03:14 PM

I tend to dissagree with the article. I am affected by schizophrenia, and I scored 142 on the IQ test available on the web. I think I am pretty bright, but because of Depression and environmental issues, I acquired this disease. I can hope to comment that with future breakthrough, and human ingenuity and resilience, the disease of Schizophrenia can be irradicated.

yl wong

Posted by: yung lai wong at June 16, 2004 10:29 PM

I was extremely into healthy foods prior to conception and beyond. One of the suplements I regulary took was lecitin, a prominent source of choline in the diet.
So I had a child with an IQ of 152. It was not nueroprotective and she has sz.

Posted by: Angel's Mom at June 17, 2004 02:02 AM

My brother is schizophrenic and at the time his initial episode he was topping every subejcts in his school. He is extremely intelligent. I can't understand what does IQ have anything to do with sz.

Posted by: at June 24, 2004 02:01 PM

My IQ is 140 and I have sz. The reality for me is I have had lifetime insomnia because my mind never shuts down and stops thinking. In my opinion the visual and auditory hallucinations I had before treatment are the dreamlike state of REM that a normal person who sleeps 8 hrs a night has. That's just my theory. My hallucinations were like wild, unruly dreams.

Posted by: at June 25, 2004 01:50 AM

I have sz and I was considered gifted when I was younger. I did two university courses in my last year of high school. The author of the Madness of Adam and Eve, a book that is essentially about schizophrenia, writes that intelligence and creativity in families predisposes members of those families to having schizophrenia- something that makes far more sense to me than this research.

Thanks for posting it, though, as it is good to know what new weirdnesses are going through the academic community's mind.

Posted by: schizosweetie at June 26, 2004 05:21 AM

I have an IQ of 162 and do not have sz, I have mania. I find it a folly that people think that sz is linked to high iqs.

Posted by: John Franklin Bell at June 26, 2004 09:36 PM

I have a very high I.Q and an very bright and this is my lead on SZ.
Breaking the common cycle of traditional psychology can be a difficult thing. In a world where we perceive as many as 4 dimensions, x,y,z and time and different inconstant thinking realms can drive a person batty especially while doing another complex task like operating an automobile or trying to solve Jeopardy questions. Memory is the everlasting power of persuasion in this universe; and when we sleep our physical body remains in a relative constant position, however our mind slides through time and enters different realms and false realities, and after some time a dimension slip may occur and summation of your initiative will be made of your mind our your (soul) at that specific moment. This is a real comparison of your life goals and purgative.
In the dream world anything is possible but a lot of things happen I believe because of random events. With people with schizophrenia I believe that this dream world stays active during the day portion of the persons life, making life very difficult and a living nightmare. All the things seem to add up. Hearing voices, suggestions, hallucinations, and sleeping problems. I think this disease is a summation of many factors over years, traumatic events, emotional difficulties, social problems, sleep deprivation or over sleeping, anger expression problems, depression and self esteem problems.
With this limited information I see that sleep studies should be pursued for people with schizophrenia.

Posted by: Aaron at July 1, 2004 06:39 AM

This article is full of holes, my son was reciently diagnosed with schisophrenia and his IQ is in the top 1%. When he was 12 he had the problem solving skills and thinking skills of a 29 year old. I have also heard the opposite, people with schizophrenia tend to have above average intelligence.

V. Burt

Posted by: V. Burt at July 4, 2004 06:04 AM

My son developed Schizophrenia in his late teens. He was one of the brightest in his class all the way through school and his maths teacher even classed him as verging on genius. His ability to teach himself was astounding . He was designing animations on his computer for the engeneering industry at the age of 17 . That was 10 years ago and his work is still being used. Other schizophrenics I know are also on the high side on the scale of intelligence.

Posted by: M Lloyd at July 5, 2004 10:55 AM

well, with all your high i.q.s you should all understand the article merely says that a low iq is an added risk, not a necessary correlate to schizophrenia.

Posted by: mc at July 12, 2004 05:25 PM

I have an IQ around 140 according to the average test online. I believe I have 5 mental disorders even though I have only been proven to have 4. The difference is schizophrenia, I think that I'm at least developing it because my sight often works like an old movie with blips suddenly comming and going. The other four are Bi-polar disorder, OCD, tourette syndrome, ADD. I don't know, I must have been droped on my head as a kid or something (actually I was hospitalized for an illness when I was about 10 months old). I have a theory that sort of says basically that sz is an acting out of the subconscious, like dreams, but are unruly therefore taking place when one is awake. I came up with this pobably due to my abstract reasoning, I'm not a doctor. As a 16 year old my I IQ was about 100, now as a 19 year old it is probably what I previously stated. Assuming these test online are in the ball park, I had a huge potential at 16. This large increase I believe to be due to the my cutting back on the mental problems I had such as OCD and ADD. My point is that mental disorders can manipulate the way a person thinks so much that they might hinder or hide true potential. To make this brief, on the topic of Schizophrenia, the increase of it in people with lower IQs probably because they get more confused,chaotic, flustered, and therefore more stessed out which in turn triggers false stimuli (proven in Schizophrenia). Perhaps that is enough evidence to simply speculate that stess might be an on set or cause of the the disorder. Again I'm not a doctor who has done research.

Posted by: Daniel Mueller at August 2, 2004 04:46 AM

Wow, this has started some controversy. I might as weigh in myself. First of all, as of high school I had an IQ of 170 (I am unsure of what it may be currently), and I attended an extremely prestigious and competitive university before becoming psychotic. After two years of psychotic thinking I became more normal after the initiation of drug therapy. Currently I am both researching and studying psychology at another top tier university (and trying to stave off an impending relapse). I have not bothered to review the source material of the article above, but I have no doubt that the findings where indeed statistically significant. A correlation between low intelligence and mental illness in general was found as early as the late 1800s (this work was done by Charles Darwin's cousin Francis Dalton). It was also found that high intelligence and mental stability (along with better physical health and strength) were correlated. The tendency for good traits to be inherited together was dubbed the "positive manifold." Ongoing research at the University of Minnesota (the famous twin studies) has confirmed these early findings. Researchers have also found that although the positive manifold holds in general, it breaks down at the extreme high end of intelligence. Individuals with IQs above about 150 tend to have much more emotional and mental health/illness problems than others (these are, in a very crude sense, the mad geniuses). Two studies I know of (one from Sweden and another from Israel)have shown about a sixfold increase in risk for schizophrenia for high achieving/high IQ students. It seems then, that there very well may be a bimodal distribution of IQ relating risk to schizophrenia. Due to the small number of high IQ individuals, a main effect for low IQ conferring risk for schizophrenia would likely be found and the high IQ effect would be washed out in the data (unless specifically investigated). If there is a true bimodal distribution, perhaps this indicates two different illnesses being diagnosed as the same, due to the heterogenous presentation of schizophrenic symptomology. Nonetheless, it seems from the responses that it actually matters to some if IQ and (risk of) schizophrenia is correlated in some way. It may be of modest interest to those developing early detection and treatment during prodromal phase, but to all others, especially those who have developed schizophrenia, it is useless. Family members often cling to any appearence of positive abilities/traits that schizophrenia may confer, allowing them to accept the afflicted and to cope with the illness. If science proves these abilities/traits are not correlated, would you love the schizophrenic any less? Needing to refute the findings above on emotional (or anecdotal) grounds simply demonstrates that the stigma of schizophrenia is well in place. Instead of investing passion in research findings of this sort (which is totally useless to all but fellow researchers), you should start to accept and love the schizophrenic for who he is, a person with a neurological brain disease.

Posted by: at August 10, 2004 04:30 AM

First, after reading some of your(pl) comments several items came to mind. The first of which is that you are all arguing over statistics with only a minute glimpse into the mechanics of the stats. Recent evidence also points to a link between various viruses and SZ against which IQ can do fairly little to protect. It may very well be that the symptoms of SZ are amplified by a lesser understanding of reality in which case, someone with a high IQ might not submit to the more damaging aspects of this disease. They may be able to deal with stress to a greater degree and thus, forgo contracting the full blown disorder and instead, adopt a more "absent minded professor" approach to life. Diet may also play a role and, someone with a high IQ may have a greater grasp on what their bodies require to stay healthy, etc. This is, of course, if IQ means anything.

The most disturbing thing, however, that I found with this random forum is that everyone picked up arms and decided to argue against a man who has "little doubt" as to the significance of these statistics or the methods applied to derrive them without bothering to "review the source material" just because it fits into his model of darwinism applied to the human mind.

The Internet is a Lie Machine.

Oh, and by the way . . . a web site told me that I have an IQ of 23,000,000. Thats not small potatoes!

Posted by: If IQ means anything at August 25, 2004 05:27 AM

everyone up here who claims to have a high iq has some of the dumbest mistakes in their comments. some are laughable spelling errors (dissagree-comment #2). others are long run-on sentences that make no sense whatsoever. iq is not my area of expertise, but i do know that if you make a claim at being smart you damn well better make sure you look like it.

Posted by: at October 4, 2004 04:50 AM

I read in my psychology books that the usual person suffering from schizophrenia has an above average IQ.

Posted by: Carolyn at October 16, 2004 01:35 AM

If these people have schizophrenia, then you would be guilty of abusing the mentally ill, wouldn't you? If, indeed, there are run-on sentences in their posts, this may be related to the illness, right?

Posted by: Susan at October 16, 2004 01:40 AM

As I am only 16 and live in Ohio, I have only been diagnosed as having "Strongly suggestive tendencies toward Schizophrenia." I also was identified as intellectually retarded in second grade because I rewrote 7 of the 75 IQ test questions on the test to fit my answers. They re-tested me in fourth grade and I scored 149-V 122-Q. I do poorly in school because of my illness, but am insulted by the idea that I must be "Dumb" because I am sick.

Posted by: Dan at October 16, 2004 03:39 PM

Hello, I just want to say that I'm another person on the internet who has thought himself as a schizophrenic, but now that I have read more on it, I'm only a hypocondriac. When I was younger, I was in the gifted programs because of my supposed "brilliance" but later dropped out due to differing school districts etc. I've heard conflicting stories on correlations between schizophrenia and IQ, but the researcher's opinion does make sense. In basis, the higher IQ individuals who are geniuses are more disposed to the disease but they are the most noted and most outspoken when it comes to this disease(hey, they should be able to talk more if their so smart) that there seems to be a straightforward correlation between Higher IQ's and schizophrenia.

Dan - It's not saying that your dumb because you are sick, this article is saying that "dumb" people(I assume low IQ) are more likely to develop it compared to the smarter peers. But there are other articles who say that schizophrenia can lower IQ and cognitive functions, if that's what your referring to.

BTW.. I've researched my IQ as well as I am a bit introspective at times. A few tests in my childhood(6th grade) declared I had an IQ of about 150, 160.. but recently I've retaken the IQ from mulitple (assumably reliable) sources to get a more accurate idea of my current IQ. So far, it's realistically somewhere about 130 taking my SAT scores and online tests into account. So I'm glad that I'm in the mental "Group" that is less likely to develop it, although I thought I was for a second. I guess it was hypocondriactic tendencies. BTW, please don't comment on the discrepency between my grammar and IQ.. I had communications disorders when I younger and I think whatever was the cause of that still persists to this day so it affects my verbal ability.

Posted by: Andrew at May 1, 2005 11:17 PM

I can honestly say that I'm no expert when it comes to schizophrenia or any
other mental illness.

I can also say, however, that I am an expert on my life experiences.

I honestly don't know my exact IQ, but it's somewhere in the top 1%, and it
seems like the older I get(I'm only 19), the more I feel like kicking down
the door keeping my inappropriate thoughts and actions at bay, locked up in
castle noggin.

I've only been diagnosed with ADHD, but after some research, I'm 100% sure
I have avoidant personality disorder, and I'm starting to think I may be
developing disorganized schizophrenia.

I'm going to agree with some of the others posting here that the statistics
are likely very misleading. Those people with higher IQs probably have a
better understanding of what is happening to them and can, in turn, hold it

I'm also going to have to agree that sleep studies should be performed.
I'd be interested to know how many High-IQ psychotics are getting a good,
constant amount of sleep. I know I find it hard to sleep at night, since I
can't let go of an idea until it's been written down or thought through to
the end, and I know that sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations,
depression, you name it. Many sources even suggest a cumulative loss of 1
IQ point per hour of sleep lost compared to the standard of 8 hours. That
means someone getting 6 hours of sleep a night for one week straight would
be running on an effective IQ 14 points lower than their normal. If that's
true, then sleep deprivation could easily tear an intellectually gifted
individual from his throne and cast him into the pits of insanity, since
he/she wouldn't have the same reasoning ability.

This whole discussion, however, brings to mind an old saying... "It's a
fine, thin line separating genius and insanity."

Oh, and for the pessimist picking apart the spelling and grammar of the
people posting here... take a step back and take your own advice. If
you're going to try to sound like you know something, make damn sure you
know it. Proper spelling and grammar are results of preference, not
intelligence. A stupid man can learn to write with perfect spelling and
grammar, and an extremely intelligent person might become bored with and
see no point in the conventions of our language, as long as he/she knows
their point is understood. This isn't a penis measuring contest, kid, it's
a discussion on the relationship, if any, between IQ and the development of
psychotic disorders, so you don't need to reach into your bag of feces and
start hurling it at people for stating what they perceive to be a factual
evaluation of their intellect.

Anyway, pardon my rant. I'm running on 2 hours of sleep.

Posted by: Daniel at June 23, 2005 06:27 AM

I must confess that i dont know absolutly anything about Psychology in terms of the formal knowledge. But there is a lot i have learnt through my personal experience. Last year i was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in the negative form. At that time my iq was measured to be 138 on most of the iq tests. then after i underwent treatment and behaviour modification therapy. When i give iq tests now, all of the tests usually measure my iq to be around 153. I am currently doing undergrads in maths and i can teach some of the post grads students in the college so i dont think there is anything wrong with my iq. SO i think schizophrenia even may hamper the ability to understand and analyse. In my case this happened because my peculier conditions made me unable to concerntrate on things.
I have also seen that most of the famous schizophrenics in the history had iN in their MBTI type

Posted by: singular_equation at July 5, 2005 05:41 AM

hi,i think i may have a problem linked to schizophrenia. ive got this problem where i cant keep my eyes focused when im say, watchin the tele with mates. its like some part of my brain is daring me to just spread my focus of vision out, and its like i end up not being able to ignore the person sitting next to me- whether they know im half watchin them and the tv is beyond me. im only 21, and this problem has got worse from a year or so ago, how and when it started i cannot recollect. ive been readin stuff on loss of selective attention, possession by demons etc etc and its all overwhelming me. i dont hear voices, and any dellusions i create, are not so bizzare in nature (in my opinion). no ones carried this thread on for a bit, but if anyone has heard of my condition, please, help. p.s. my IQ is maybe top 20% but i wudnt consider any higher 135.

Posted by: mension at August 21, 2005 08:01 PM

From my research I get the impression that IQ is regarded to be a static attribute, with the exception that damage caused by either ageing or external trauma may lower it. However, my own experiences seem to prove contrary to this. I fell into a very deep psychosis during a PhD in mathematics, from which I had to withdraw early taking an M.Phil.. My psychosis was caused by family problems and excessive drug use during my undergraduate student years. My IQ before the psychosis was 128, during the psychosis it fell to about 118. Now that I've got my brain rewired and have made, or at least have nearly made a full recovery all the tests I've been taking have been returning scores of 135+.

Reflecting on all of this I can only conclude that concentration is a major factor when doing an IQ test. During my psychosis my head was overwhelmed with fear and unreal thoughts. I was aware of the disruption in my thinking and was fighting a constant battle to cleanse my thoughts. During my personal psychotic testing my mind couldn't focus properly on any of the set problems and it was a struggle to even keep my self still for the half hour duration...... You get the picture?

I would appreciate positive feedback on this.

Posted by: Peter at September 6, 2005 01:50 PM

My mother was a genius, playing Mozart, Beethoven, etc. by the time she was six. She also skipped 2 grades, and could have easily gone farther but they held her back because of her age.

She developed SZ.

I have also scored very high on IQ tests. I have scored over 140 at least 4 times, and over 150 at least twice. If I worked on the puzzles, I could probably score over 160. I do not have SZ but I do suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder.

It has been proven that intelligence is linked to schizophrenia and other problems. Most SZs are highly intelligent. If you look at a CATSCAN of a normal person's brain and compare it to one of a SZ, you will see that the SZ's brain is much more active (lit up). The same goes for an extremely bright person versus a normal person, though it usually isn't an extreme difference as in SZ.

My hypothesis is this: intelligence is acquired by the formation of neural connections in your brain into a neural network. The more neural connections, the more intelligence one will be measured to have. Therefore, someone who has more neural connections will have a more active brain as shown on the CATSCAN. And possibly more of a risk for SZ. One could argue the same with obsessive compulsive disorder.

Intelligence is not the causative factor of SZ or OCD. It may be that a hyperactive neural network is the causative factor for both intelligence and SZ. However, when intelligence is combined with genetics and environment, one is more at risk for developing the disease.

Posted by: Julie at September 13, 2005 10:46 PM

My son was diagnosed as having ADHD with oppositional behavior disorder at age 3. We tried different medications over the years with Ritalin being the most effective of the bunch...until he started looking skeletal and I freaked out. I also missed my son. Other medications have not been so successful. Currently he's taking Concerta and Zoloft..the Zoloft because I insisted that my son had a short circuit and had trouble sleeping at night and was hoping that something could be done to adjust his seratonin levels. I think I've finally faced facts though. Recently he thought the people in a mall were following him and freaked out. He is constantly disobedient and does weird things (ie. peeing off the front porch when there are two available bathrooms). Not only have his behaviors gotten continually worse, but there has been no help from his doctor or psychologist when I've gone begging for help. At this point, I turned to Juvenile Services for help. They've recommended counseling, but I think it's likely to be me going to the loony bin from the stress and lack of action. My maternal uncle had paranoid schizophrenia and at long last, I am 98% positive that my son has Hebephrenic Schizophrenia. I'm losing it though. Nobody's listened to me for all these years and my son is slowly but surely slipping away from me and into the realm of madness. Whether I like it or not, I'm going right along with him. Can ANYONE tell me the method to convince a doctor to test a 13 year old for SZ other than going ballistic and aiming a pistol in their face? I don't really mean that, but well..maybe I do. 10 years of no results has left me and my son in such a mess with no forseeable way out...help?

Posted by: Gretchen at September 17, 2005 08:37 AM

Apparently you don't need to have any reading comprehension skills to have an inflated IQ. All of you people who have rushed to declare yourselves geniuses despite SZ should have the ability to distinguish between the statement that low IQ might possibly be a predisposing factor for schizophrenia and the statement that schizophrenics have low IQ's. Two very different things. I guess you didn't do too well on the logic section of your IQ tests either.

Posted by: Matt at March 6, 2006 10:51 AM

I just have an average fluid IQ, and have developed schizophrenia. Crystallized intelligence is above average however, probably because I'm a very independent learner. When you talk of intelligence, you must be careful to distinguish between fluid and crystallized IQ. Some tests are pattern sequencing designed to specifically measure fluid IQ, while other tests test vocabulary, part of crystallized intelligence. Music ability is independent of IQ, and it seems to me that there are a variety of creative tasks which IQ couldn't possibly measure.

Posted by: Khronos at March 8, 2006 05:11 PM

I'm 16 years old, an I have an I.q of 142. Is that normal?

Posted by: Desiree at March 22, 2006 09:41 PM

The fact still remains that the vast majority of people with schizophrenia are not only more intelligent than your average human, but supersede academic boundaries because their perceptions and beliefs (in some cases) are to complex for even the most credible of academics to understand.

Posted by: Tim at April 8, 2006 01:06 AM

I have 'managed' my schizophrenia for over 25 years with the help of good physciatrists and meds, and I am facinated by everyone's comments. My heart really goes out to those of you who may be developing this devastating disease. Please seek professional help. I am very greatful for several things resulting from this disease. I do not take the enjoyment of a normal day for granted, I struggle and have therefore developed mental disciplines that my friends admire, and much more. I understand that while IQ is an important factor in keeping a steady life I also believe that human warmth can overcome the extreme fear that is part of the disease, and that may be a better stabilizer. So be kind to each other, that can be a tall order with someone afflicted with blunt affect, but as a schizophrenic, you just have to try harder. Kindess is wonderful, because it always comes back to you. Thank you all for your postings.

Posted by: Holly at May 25, 2006 06:23 AM

Got the MENSA membership as a kid using a high school IQ test and the Schizophrenic membership following combat in Vietnam and resulting psychiatric hospital confinement. Have reviewed literature which links SZ to high and low IQ. Have given up on a conclusion and now regard the search as a curiosity. But, life is tolerable thanks to a long stable marriage with a tolerant lady of excellent (British style) humor/humour. Kind of nice to be different.

Posted by: Rex at June 15, 2006 11:21 AM

spelling and grammatics have nothing to do with iq. to anyone that points out that one used who when they should have used whom... well, your very observant and heres a cookie. albert einstein never memorized his own phone number. i dont think that anyone thought he was less for it. as to the subject, those with very low or high iqs have one think in common, and its that they arent. if you have a 150 iq, you are with very few peers. In a way its the same type of isolation felt by the mentally challenged. My iq is 146 on the stanford binet. ive always tested in the 99th percentile. i never really considered this to be abnormal when i was younger because you hear people say that they have a 160 or 180 iq all the time, usually because they have no idea, and 180 seems like a respectable number to say. i was in my teens before i realized i was different and the first symptoms of mental illness manifested. ive tried to hide it for years, but to no avail. bi polar, add, ocd, sz, alcohol and drug abuse... ive heard taht i was crazy, but since i was 21, ive had the documentation to prove it. it happens. you move on. i think that its harder on parents who think that they did you wrong in some type of envirnmental neglect/smothering. doubtful. my parents werent alcoholic, are still married, and i was never spoiled nor left wanting. i just didnt turn out like the other two kids. i was sent to a gifted school when i was around 10 or 11 and all of the kids there that struck me as highly creative and intelligent have had problems with mental illness, from clinical depression to straight up nuts (to answer the people interested in pointing out spelling errors... yes, im aware that "straight up nuts" is not a reconized condition). anyhow, my point is that a bell curve has two ends of data that sits outside the standard deviation, not one. maybe the predisposition is high in anyone outside of the norm.

Posted by: Nikolaos at June 25, 2006 04:15 AM

Information is more inportant than IQ.

Posted by: jimmy at July 19, 2006 11:55 AM

Regarding information, that is so true about how important it is, but and here's the BUT, seek wisdom, which translates information into useable knowledge ~ and that can benefit you no matter how grave you illness. Unfortunately, some of my fellow sufferers are not able to assimulate information/wisdom. Medication has really been my route out of the madness and into wisdom. Hey, our pain is worth something, if nothing else, we appreciate the world when it makes sense.

Posted by: Holly at July 30, 2006 09:31 PM

I'm not sure where exactly everyone is getting their sources for claiming that schizophrenics, on average, have a higher group average IQ than the ordinary population(The ordinary schizophrenic is typically smarter then the average portion) since this post's content seems to disagree directly with the claim since risk increases the less intelligent one become, so there would be more less-then-average intelligent schizophrenics than more-then-average intelligent ones. Also, I distinctly remember something from Wechsler's book on Adult Intelligence(written around 1956, I believe) who showed a clinical group of schizophrenics scored around an average of 92 IQ, and the Standard Deviation wasn't exactly wide(They were less so than the general population SD of 15, they were actually around 12). But I believe he tested a clinical hospitalized group; It's possible that the above-average intelligent schizophrenics would have more coping ability, on average, and would be more able to remain out of the hospital thus disbalancing this measurement of the schizophrenic's group IQ but I have my doubts it's far enough off to justify the counter-claim , or claims that would ultimately rely on the following claim, that the group average is above the population average.

Posted by: Andrew W at July 31, 2006 04:51 AM

I read this article with some offense taken, at first. I am currently diagnosed with schizophrenia and possibly schizoid personality on axis 2, but I feel it is more important that my I.Q. as of second grade was 139, fifth grade was 142, seventh grade 136, and when I had my first psychotic symptoms in my fresman year of high school, 102. The WAIS broke down my scores as 134 Verbal and 72 performance. One score dropped 19 points(verbal)one nearly sixty.

In hindsight, this seems perfectly logical. I was having huge difficulties staying concentrated, I was off my ass on Haldol, Zyprexa, and a generic sleepaid that the name escapes me. I was delusional, I thought my parents were feeding me drugs, so I had stopped eating. I wasn't thinking logically or intelligently.

An interesting development that showed up above this page on google was the correlation between low coding scores on the performance subtest of the WISC/WAIS tests, and schizophrenia later in life. My experience would say this is true. On all the I.Q. tests I've taken that has been 2-3 standard deviations below the mean, with all other scores 2-3 above. (2-4 on the SB-LM in fifth grade)

Just food for thought, I guess. Here's a link to the study on the coding correlation. Premorbid Cognitive Functioning in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder

Posted by: Daniel at July 31, 2006 08:45 AM

Don't believe the hype in online IQ tests. I've studied many (broad generalization, my apologies. This post is littered with them - ack! There I go again!) and I can fully say that they're nothing like the real thing. On average I score from answering everything correctly and not getting anything higher than 125, or going as impossibly high as 170. Believe me, in the plethora of actual IQ tests used, the highest score may vary wildly, but the cap is usually between 164-170. 164+ would imply a population size greater than the number of people on the planet, thus rendering the whole test false. In fact, technically, it's correct that only one person could hold the top highest IQ score, and a few people the second, more the third, etc down to 100, and then the trend reverses. The people who invented this score must've really been into that high school and college GPA scoring crap. (My own college GPA was a meager 2.3) Besides, as far as I've seen, IQ only really measures your ability for playing games and recognizing games when you see them. It doesn't measure whether you're the most colossal self-centered asshole the planet has ever seen, or that you're a sociopathic elitist grouping up individuals with their social/cultural classes, or thinks population control should involve setting the death penalty for all major crimes. My actual measured IQ is only 129, performance-wise. When you take the full profile analysis, you usually get a large list of numbers to interpret, giving a greater in-depth view, often summarized in three IQ scores, not just one. It's essentially comparing a 15-minute online test with a grueling 8-hour profile spread out over two work days between you and a trained professional. Sure, it's fun to think that you may have a genius-level IQ; I'm pretty sure you're smart, but it's just not the case that you can measure human intelligence on a linear scale, despite the fact that IQ is defined by statistics of population. And even then, you may find that there are still inconsistencies; I scored 143 in sound & memorization - that's a fluke. Every once in awhile I'll be able to memorize huge strings of numbers you might toss at me (and toss slowly), but most of the time I can't even remember four damn numbers unless I repeat them over and over again. Things like that may score in or against your favor -- and finally there are those that know how to work the system so well that they intentionally score less than they should, or often MORE than they should, simply due to familiarity with the questions. With all my wandering, the main point is that a true intelligence quota has yet to be devised, and while the IQ profiles are usually used to determine a hidden talent, (for instance, a high score like 130+ in symbolic interpretation and reasoning means you'd make a great software developer, even if your overall score might be 88.) and everything else appears to be online ego-stroking or elitism by joining the "Giga society," or Mensa" - no flak meant, but I can only hope that people who join these societies actually work towards better futures for all - If people with truly high IQ's haven't figured out that they have a responsibility to make the world a better place, then it's a scary place. Most people don't even realize that America is in the business of making banana republics that owe fortunes to us due to lending to dictators that cut&run, out of developing nations or nations that were on their way to becoming 1st world countries - thus, our government is in the business of making cheap offseas resources and labor in order to allow more people in this country to create businesses, and it won't stop until most of us create a company with foreign resources and labor; it's pushing lower-class citizenship on the rest of the world - and that's the real reason why people hate America: we don't just have what they want; our government swindled it from them in order for business to sell it to us! This is also why the terms "free trade" and "structural adjustment" will literally cause riots anywhere else in the world except America. It's why the disturbingly sociopathic force Al Qaeda sent two planes to the World Trade Center. But, once again, I digress.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward at August 26, 2006 11:44 AM

Your insights (Mr. Coward) reminded me of the striking audacity of Leona Helmsly, slum lord turned political diva (back in the 1980's I think). These are sometimes very amoral people at the helm. What I was really stirred about though, was your ability to move the conversational focus off of Shizophrenics with high/low IQs and towards social justice. I liked reading your posting, but I wondered if you had ever suffered with the disease? (Maybe this isn't the best forum for this question, I just wanted to ask.)

Posted by: Holly at August 27, 2006 09:07 PM

My sisrer is suffering from this horrible disease and she was extremely intelligent especially in scince subjects, Mathematics and Biology. When this disease totally take over her she was in last year of her medical school and now her life has been totally taken over by this disease.Here many people are who have this disease. I would like to know how you people are coping with it? becaouse my sisrer has totally lost interest in any thing and she is also not willing to take any medication.I have tried to convenice her in every way to take medication but she says that I am absolutely alright I don't need any medication.

Posted by: tania rana at November 13, 2006 11:13 AM

nothing has changed with my info ~ what's u?

Posted by: Holly at December 22, 2006 10:35 PM

The article said "On average"

For instance , if the average height of an american man is 5'9, and the average height of a Dutch man s 6'1' Does this mean that ALL american are short?That ALL Dutch men are tall?No. You cannot say that their theory (where's your phD?)is because you know "tall people" Likewise, the article is NOT saying that ALL schizophrenics are of below average intelligence, that if you sampled the IQ's of a healthy sample vs schizophrenic sample(but not bipolar) than a greater percentage would fall in the lower IQ range. Like wise if you sampled a group with high IQ's, a lower percentage would have schizophrenia.Sorry if anyone takes offense to this or to the original article.

Posted by: Marick at February 11, 2007 11:52 PM

If you people are so intelligent, you would realize that the fact that {you, your relative, someone you know, etc} is highly intelligent and schizophrenic, DOES NOT refute the topic. It is not stated that EVERY shizophrenic person was of low intelligence, it is saying that high IQ scores are negatively correlated with schizophrenia. An exception does not disprove a correlation. Please, no more posts beginning "This study is garbage because I have a 172 iq and was diagnosed with schizophrenia..." Really, you have a 172 iq and do not understand concepts like risk, correlation, odds, etc will not apply to every specific case?

Posted by: mako at February 17, 2007 10:35 AM

I am 29 years old and study PhD in Law. English is my second language and I am sorry for spelling mistakes in advance. So far I have made many friends very easily, but have always been alone. I even thought that I had two personalities, one is very strong and crazy, other is very calm and delicate.. There were times in which people called me " crazy, maniac, intense, and overexcited ". I am not schipzorenic, but I have many times wanted to die as people did not get me.... Because I grew up in a rural area and my family was not educated, I was with my own world ( imaginary, lonely and dreamer, and lived with challenges to forget my problems.I have been in depression for a couple of days because of some emotional disasters and started reading about gifted people and their problems, and even gotten a few online IQ tests in a depressive mood ( my IQ is above 140)... I am just afraid that I can not find someone help me get out from this mud..May be I m too lonely..It is like being someone who everybody knows and likes from the other side of river. But they can not touch you and figure out you other side of river as they do not know how to pass that river, and you can not teach them how to do that from the other side of river.. that is my problem.. May be.. I should forget the otherside and look for people at my side with some weird hope..


Posted by: Erdal at March 21, 2007 05:16 PM

Like the first person has stated, "this is garbage". My theory is that before people start out with schizophrenia they have a high IQ, and after they receive schizophrenia, they become out of reality and can not remember or learn as much. Thus, their IQ actually lowers. That is what your stupid data correlates to. But truly those schizophrenics, they are the smartest people you can find. Have you ever watched "A Beautiful Mind" ? Now that's an example of someone who is smarter than life.

Posted by: Jess at May 2, 2007 09:47 PM

This comment box is pretty small and the font and text are thin and light. I think the way that this person set this up makes it easier to make mistakes when writing the comments. (because the width & length of this comment box is so small, you have to shift your eyes a lot only trying to finish one sentence. also , i find it easier to write run on sentences on here) I personally think that the editor set this comment box up so that it is easier to make grammer errors and run on sentences. to revise the comment, you actually need to scroll down several times because the box is so tiny. What's up with that??!?! (but then again, that's when you don't preview; when you preview the length is actually larger)

Posted by: Jess at May 2, 2007 09:55 PM

My IQ is in the top 1/2 percent. That's somewhere around 140 or above. I have Bipolar Disorder and possibly sz-affective disorder. I also may have Adult ADD. I know I often don't get enough sleep--and that is probably a big part of my problems much of the time. I found the comments here very interesting and helpful.

Posted by: Christopher C. Texter at June 24, 2007 03:02 AM

I wonder where they got the idea that low iq=schizophrenia too! From experience working with young people developing psychosis and long term schizophrenia, they have all been exceptionally gifted people, high iqs! Likewise my grandfather had a high iq and developed schizophrenia, my dad has an iq around 140 and has severe depression, I have an iq of 146 currently and I also suffer depression - psych thought it was schizophrenia but it's not! My boyfriend has an iq comparable to me and has OCD, his brother has similar iq and has depression and anxiety, his dad went to grammar school and has severe depression - everybody I know or have ever met who suffered with mental illness have all seemed to have one thing in common - a particularly high intelligence, usually in the top 2 percentile! And as for the silly person who posted that people 'claiming' high iq's (like it's some sort of bowl of cherries to have one - it's not!) have bad spelling and grammar? Well frankly sweetheart I have a grade A English Language A-level, am training to teach English to adults, and I can't be bothered using my skills here because it's an online forum and I want to get my point across! As a later poster said - we geniuses like to relax a little sometimes! I really think you need to examine your ego - someone with a high iq make you feel inadequate once?!! Honestly hon - iq makes nobody better or worse than anyone else - it's just we have a different way of thinking, often more chaotic and deep, hence I reckon, our predisposition to mental illness. Honestly,in my own experience, there really is a case for high iq=severe mental illness, rather than other way round!

Posted by: Jenny at June 27, 2007 10:06 AM

I think that schizophrenia/severe mental illness lowers a persons iq as it takes its hold. My iq was 133 when I was 9, Mensa tested it as 146 at 26. I have suffered depression progressively since the age of 14, when my concentration began to deteriorate and my school grades were not the straight As expected. Schizophrenia and severe illness robs the gifted of potential i believe. I feel mine should be higher than 146 at the moment, given my abilities up to when illness took hold. But que sera sera! it;s not so much intelligence or latent ability, as what we actually DO in life! So I'm off to DO as much as I can! xx

Posted by: Jenny at June 27, 2007 10:13 AM

i'm 17 and have an iq of 169. i've been hearing voices all my life and also have synesthaesia and depression. in my opinion, low iq and sz have very little in common. People with low iqs undertake less complex thinking and so are often less susceptible to mental illness. many geniuses and gifted people have heard voices through the centuries...hearing voices is often a symptom of profound giftedness.

Posted by: JI at July 21, 2007 06:19 PM

LOL Everybody commenting on this claims to be a genius or know one. If you all really had those high IQ's you would of sounded alot smarter. Im a schizophrenic and could care less what my IQ is. We all know schizophrenia is caused by genes and once they single out those genes and master gene therapy we all will be cured. I say ten to twenty years from now. Just my average IQ guess. LOL

Posted by: Erik at September 16, 2007 06:17 PM

i developed pychosis and have and i.q. of 130 by the testing internet standards. it was the hyper-awarness type. i have had difficulty reading, writing and spelling as long as i can remember. i hoped that can help somebody.

Posted by: stephen at September 18, 2007 07:40 PM

Mental illnesses stem from one of four categories:- Genetic (rarer than you might think), Congenital brain damage (far more common than you might think), nutritional deficiency (somewhat more common than is imagined) and of course finally psychological. These can of course be concomitant or interact in other ways (many of which are still not understood). Long term deficiencies of B-vitamins and eicosapentaenoic acid (in adults) are some of the causes of common serious pyschological disorders without OBVIOUS morphological abberations or damage (which is generally constituted by congential disorders). A commonality amongst many of the personality disorders which have a PURELY psychological basis is fear. None of the disorders mentioned thus far will kill any of those that posted. Although that does not obviously include suicide.

As has been mentioned suicide IS unique to human beings. WHY? This has already been discussed but the reason is to do with the integration of the base aspects of the brain and conflicts with consciousness (an unnatural condition - which we all share). If I should sound at this point like some sort of neo freudian proponist I am not. It must be made clear however that we have this brand new and highly complex system floating above evolutionarily ancient machinery which bears little relation to it beyond it's mechanical (neural) substrate. An improper distintion (internally - and unconsciously) between these disperate systems which must co-exist can cause a vast number of different illnesses. It is not hard to bridge the gap considering that both these ancient systems and this brand new consciousness use the same neurotransmitters, cells and connections.

Those of you who wish to get better are more than likely physically intact (neurologically speaking) and regardless of the prognosis given to you, with the correct guidance you will most probably improve. (There are always exceptions however and grey matter volume has been observed to decrease in certain areas of the brain with the onset of certain types of schizophrenia but to increase again on resolution). Such guidance need not SOLELY be external, ( although if are seeking help or thinking about doing so - do so)

Those in our society who are ill physically or mentally are more worthy and deserving of societys' compassion, understanding and support. This is NOT to be mistaken for pity. As far as stigmatizing mental illness goes I abhor it with every fibre of my being and would publicly admonish those who would indulge in such xenophobic - fear induced - cruelty by proxy.

If you are wondering whether I can qualify my statements with academic qualifications I can not.

As far as to whether or not I.Q. is related to mental illness, I.Q. is not a 'scalar' quantity but rather very much a multifaceted neurocognitve measure. It often appears that there is only one way of coming to a correct answer, but that is only an objective (ironically the subjective view of the objective - but not to worry) viewpoint. Those that do come to correct answers often do it in very different fashions internally. It may therefore be that certain 'styles' of intelligence may be more prone to mental illness. The subject is still beyond our comprehension for the time being but I believe that will change with time.

I wish you peace of mind.

Posted by: Liam at October 25, 2007 11:39 PM

I find this bogus. My mother was diagnosed as schizotypal and she was a medical doctor (that is she earned an MD and worked in a hospital before she became ill) and I still consider her very bright despite her delusions. Of course I think stress (of working in a hospital) was a factor in her illness. I think forms of schizophrenia, schizoid and schizotypal disorder are poorly differentiated. And so very different disorders are subsumed under spurious categories, hence these results. My advice to these doctors would be to read their Foucault, and get out of this silly practice of naming wildly differentiated symptoms with the same name, which is followed by spurious etiologies.

Posted by: tom at January 9, 2008 06:00 PM

I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and I think the article makes sense. People with severe mental illness probably have parts of the brain not working at 100% capacity which would lower their IQ. People with higher IQ are more likely to realize their delusions and halucinations are not real and would be better able to cope.

Don't believe the online IQ scores. They pump up your IQ as much as 20-30+ points. The websites want you to feel good and buy their products. Nobody wants to feel dumb.

I had my IQ professionally tested for insurance purposes and it was consistenly much lower then the online scores. The professional tests were much harder.

Posted by: Mike at January 19, 2008 08:35 PM

To Julie saying that schizophrenia is caused by a "hyperactive" brain, this is completely wrong. Brain scans show that schizophrenics have LESS activity in several parts of the brain and that this is what causes their symptoms. When a person with schizophrenia is hearing voices it is really their own thoughts, it's just that they can't process that information. It's the same way that a person with ADD doesn't have more activity in their brain, they just have less activity in the frontal lobe, which would enable them to focus. Some smart people get schizophrenia but schizophrenia has nothing to do with being smart. For every John Nash there are hundred homeless people with schizophrenia who can barely read or write.

Posted by: ethan at January 19, 2008 11:38 PM

I happen to have an IQ of 185.

Posted by: E=MC^2 at February 27, 2008 08:11 PM

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