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Healthy Living

No, Untreated Mental Illness Isn't The Sign Of Artistic Genius

This comedian nails what's wrong with linking depression and good art.

Mental illness is often linked with greater creativity, but it's time to stop buying into the misconception.

Mental health disorders are serious issues that should receive proper medical treatment. Eschewing medication or therapy in order to be more artistically inclined isn't just a sign of warped priorities -- it's actually based on bad information.

As Jacqueline Novak, comedian and author of How to Weep in Public: Feeble Offerings on Depression from One Who Knows, points out, the idea that mastery comes from misery is actually rather dangerous. In the video above, Novak nails the problem with the creativity and mental illness connection in a single monologue:

"If we cured breast cancer, would people say, 'Thank God we didn't cure this back in the '80s, otherwise we wouldn't have the Susan G. Komen Foundation?'"

She's got a point. No matter which way you spin it, getting treatment for mental health is always the right option.

Watch the clip to hear more from Novak on the creativity and mental illness myth.

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