October 10, 2007

Schizophrenia and Creativity - Article by Stuart Baker Brown

Stuart Baker-Brown, 43, blogs here at schizophrenia.com (see here for his blog) and also is a photographer and writer based in Dorset, England, was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1996. Today, on World Mental Health Day, he delivers a unique personal insight into how his condition has nurtured his artistic expression. The full article is available on the BBC News site:

Read Full Story: A beautiful mind - By Stuart Baker-Brown

For more information on Stuart Baker-Brown and to view his creativity at work - see his website.


I do not suffer from Schizophrenia. My son does. I do deal with odd thinking that I always thought everyone else had. His mother is a gifted musician who suffers with bouts of depression. I know my son has musical talent and I am gently prodding him towards it. Each person's experience is different but It is good to read success storys. This helps us know our trying is not in vain!

Posted by: Darrell at October 10, 2007 11:21 AM

I don't think that if you have schizophrenia, you are more creative. It depends. It may play some role in genetics. My brother has schizophrenia but I would call myself the odd one. I always had odd thoughts and think that contributed to being an artist. I also am very sensitive and like to be alone which allows me to concentrate on the things in great detail which may help me as an artist. My brother is not exceptionally creative but he does play the drums and is very expressive at it, very good. I think there is something to be said for creative people and how the perceive the outside. I actually become bored with how society looks at everything so similar and that is probably why I enjoy isolation. I do not have schizophrenia but there may be some genetic link between my brother's illness and my odd ways.

Posted by: Amber at October 11, 2007 06:40 AM

Hi Stuart,
Your articles are giving me such hope. I recently had to part with someone I am very fond of because of running out of all personal resources with which to help him. I have only just found out that he has the classic schizophrenia symptoms...delusions, voices, paranoia etc...and now I am reeling from the shock of discovering what is wrong with him.
When he is well, he is gentle and sweet, and we communicate like soul mates. He is an extremely talented musician and we have written songs together, and have had some beautiful times singing, playing our guitars and sharing musical ideas.
When things are bad, it has always seemed to me that there is a hole down which every beautiful thing disappears very suddenly, and he becomes hostile, depressed, angry...says hateful things.
I know there is a beautiful creative person there who needs help. Currently he believes his delusions and I am the "bad guy" for not seeing it his way...he believes he is extremely famous and that he is threatened and persecuted by everyone out of jealousy, and that this accounts for his failure to work and socialize. He is not famous, but he is extremely talented.
Maybe that's both the crime and the thing that saves him, that no one knows who he is.
I think his music would rescue him where the medical profession would probably do more harm.
Thank you so much for your wonderful insights.
Much love from Mary

Posted by: Mary at October 13, 2007 01:40 AM

Why it's important to view schizopherenia treatment as to support people who suffer adverse effect as opposed to the 100% curing of schizophrenia.

Sometimes to cure schizophrenia is thye equivilent of a shell snail killing all the other snails because the pattern on their shell wasent the same as the callular automata of it's shell.

When you start to treat people this way you do run into the ethical dillema that you might simply be disliking poeple because of the pattern on their shell, especially in such a poorly understood science as schizophrenia as part of neroscience.

It's far better to look to how we can better support people who suffer in terms of regenrative technologies and genral social support even though even doing this in the future might overlap into the domian of changing DNA makeup.

The point being there is a line here that we should not cross against the will of the individual and that is the line of changing someone for conformities sake and not simply for the benifits of health or to deal with suffering.

Judging by the amount that patients are ignored by at least 2/3 of professionals as to concerns with current treatment and the part economics plays over good science I think its up to any professional reading this to take note and try their best no matter how hard it is to see so many various people suffer or how bliss ignorance might be.

Posted by: L A Marsh at October 13, 2007 06:48 AM

We must rise up and drive the normals into the sea. We are the true humans . The rest are very clever robots made by aliens.

I know you have

Posted by: Kinky friedman at October 13, 2007 06:49 AM

I no longer post due to abusive and unsympathetic comments when i was feeling genuinely hurt and upset.

art in the asylum

Posted by: Tim at October 13, 2007 07:11 AM

Why are you reporting this story? I have been schizophrenic since 2004 and I belive that most people who read this site probable know all about what it's like to live with schizophrenia as well as I do. So why on earth are you putting the above in your news.

I check the news on this site at least twice a day hoping to read about new treatments or a cure. Imagine if you can my disapointment at reading the above.

If you are going to have a news section on this website at least report about the kind of news we all want to read about, for example Vanda Pharmaceuticals has recently submited a New Drug Application for a new antipsychotic, iloperidone yet this information is not on schizophrenia.com's news and is for more important than some guys story.

Also your this website clearly
states it's news is daily, but I have checked the date on your news and it sure as hell isn't.

Pull you finger out schizophrenia.com!

Posted by: Mike at October 13, 2007 11:29 AM

I really pray for the day that this site can post an article saying "Schizophrenia Cured!". I think we are closer to a cure then we were even 5 years ago.But until they can I like to hear sucess stories. There are many out there. Perhaps ours will be printed here someday or perhaps not. I think if a good thing can happen once it can happen again.

Posted by: Darrell at October 13, 2007 10:33 PM

The issue of the schizophrenia.com's news is still an issue for me. maybe myself and Darrell are the only people who want to read about new treatments, cures and new theories, personaly I think there are more people out there who share our opinion.

I guess what i'm realy tring to say is, I have a vision, a vision of an improved schizophrenia.com, a schizophrenia.com that has it's news update daily, that covers all the days stories from for personal recovery tales to the lastest cutting edge reseach.

Each day there at least 5 different new news stories covered by many different online news papers. Hear at schizophrenia.com only a minority of these stories are covered. It's time for a change we want all of these stories to be availabe from schizophrenia.com.

Maybe my comments above dated 13 October are a little harsh, and if some of us like read recovery stories, and it brings hope or joy to some of our life then thats fine by me. But my friends much hope and joy can be gained from reading research and of new technologies that could change the treatment of schizophrenia forever, god knows it needs to be changed.

Posted by: Mike at October 14, 2007 07:50 AM

There are only so many stories that sz.com can publish.
I don't come here to post because of the sociopaths but the wealth of information re research either through the news message board or via the news blog is second to none.

Think of how much less research and information would be available to people if neither existed!!

Posted by: Tim at October 14, 2007 09:05 AM

Thanks for your comment Timmy but you language is total uncalled for,

Posted by: Mike at October 14, 2007 10:02 AM

There are sociopaths and people with schizophrenia. The former are evil. The latter for the most part are good people who i have a lot of respect and admiration for.

I did not say all on sz.com are sociopaths .I do not believe that .
You are lying if you claim i said that.

It's the likes of you that stop me posting not the vast majority of caring and good people.

No other site i know carries the depth of easily accessible information about schizophrenia that this one does.

Posted by: Tim at October 14, 2007 11:54 AM

If you don't like my comment just say you don't and leave it at that.

Why were you throwing around wild generalizations about us being sociopaths?

Also I stand by my point that a huge amount of very relivant information is not carried buy this website. Far more information is carried at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, http://www.sciencedirect.com and many other sites carrie large amounts of up to date research.

My comment about the news are intended as constructive criticism nothing else. I only want the make the news beter for all of us.

What on earth is you problem with that Timmy?

Posted by: Mike at October 14, 2007 12:51 PM

Luke, I like your line of thinking, unfortunatly I can't afford the equipment cost for you experiment.

Question, do you know of any cheapo DIY treatments, i'm willing to try anything at least once.

Posted by: Mike at October 14, 2007 02:13 PM

f you don't like my comment just say you don't and leave it at that.

''Why were you throwing around wild generalizations about us being sociopaths?''

Look i'll repeat again in the hope it gets through that brain of yours. I never made wild generalisations about sz.com being full of sociopaths but the definite very small minority that are present on sz.com are very hurtful and stress inducing as opposed to most on sz.com who are ok/good people.

''Also I stand by my point that a huge amount of very relivant information is not carried buy this website. Far more information is carried at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, http://www.sciencedirect.com and many other sites carrie large amounts of up to date research.''

This site can not be judged like for like with the sites you mention. One ie sz.com is a support site with a wealth of information that far exceeds most other similar sites and the sites you mention channel their resources in a narrower but more research intensive way.

This site is orientated towards clients and their carers/ loved ones as opposed to science direct etc which are predominantly orientated to clinicians and professionals.

Other client/carer sites do a less admirable job of balancing information with support.
This is not a site geared towards academics and researchers.

''My comment about the news are intended as constructive criticism nothing else. I only want the make the news beter for all of us.

What on earth is you problem with that Timmy?''

I would say that there is little constructive criticism in trying to compare the likes of this site( and the audience it targets) with a wholly different type of site like science direct.

Or would you rather this site was bogged down with a plethora of information that was hard for the average lay person to comprehend and would result in people being more likely to skip the news blog and thus perversely be less rather than more educated/informed about schizophrenia?

I think you insult and demean the many people who contribute to the information on this site little either through the news blog or via the news section on the the main forum with your unreasonable and misplaced disparaging of the wealth of accessible information that can be found here little Mikeykins.

Posted by: Tim at October 14, 2007 08:02 PM

Everyone - we appreciate all feedback on how to improve the site. The web site will always be a work in progress and we appreciate people thinking about how we might improve it.

We'll take the input under consideration and will always be working to improve the site.

Please take discussions like these off to the discussion areas and not use the blog for them.


Posted by: szadmin at October 14, 2007 09:11 PM

"then we need to actually roll a lot of the names of the mind conditions into one."

As a matter of curiosity what 'names' would you roll into one?

Posted by: Tim at October 15, 2007 04:29 AM

Interesting discussion. Well thought out opinions.


Posted by: Darrell at October 16, 2007 09:52 AM

Creativity is the guide back to health and well being for people with Schizophrenia.

Posted by: J D at October 17, 2007 09:25 AM

Certainly there is no known cure still today but but atypical medications have made it possible for PWS to explore a world of recovery. Recovery maybe defined differently for each individual. As far as modern psychiatry PWS have uncounsious issues that can be metaphoric. Logic does not always fit into this picture.

Posted by: J D at October 17, 2007 01:46 PM

Hi my name is Christian and I am a fourth year film student at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I am currently working on my thesis film; a medical documetary on Schizophrenia. This documentary will explore what it means to suffer from schizophrenia as well as attempt to deal with the issue of stigma and discrimination through the sharing of stories, ideas and successful initiatives from those living with or around the illness.

I am looking for anyone who has been affected by this illness (i.e. afflicted persons, family members, medical staff, etc.) who would be willing to provide their view point on camera. This is on a volunteer basis only as I am working on a student budget. Please contact me at schizophrenia_doc@yahoo.com

Thank you,

Posted by: Christian at October 29, 2007 11:07 AM

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