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Is there a link between insanity and genius?

Insanity, genius, mental illness and madness are all labels we give to people who think and behave in ways that seem beyond, or outside what is seen as 'normal'.

Firsly, what is 'normal', and who labels it so?

Does 'mental illness' deserve such a label, or can so-called normality widen its scope to accept it as 'thinking differently' instead?

What and where is the demarcation line between madness and genius - and who draws that line?


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    Aug 26 2012: There are many people that are extremely smart and their chemical neurological order is a little off. The funny part is that they are not functional enough to be around what is considered "normal" society long enough to do what they need to contribute, however, what they may be able to do could be not only needed but useful in our society.
    • Aug 26 2012: Hi Denise.

      Thank you for your thoughts.

      I'm fascinated by your notion that smart people have a chemical neurology that is 'off'. Are you saying that extremely smart people are sometimes regarded as being ill? I think I would probably agree with you, but would need to get a clearer idea about what 'off' means, and who or what has deemed it so, if that person is also 'smart'.

      Would you say that the gray area between insanity and genius is one that is judged in the light of societal acceptance or non-acceptance - or does that judgement come from the 'self'?
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        Aug 27 2012: Hello Barney, there are 3 types of geniuses. Those that know, those that don't, and those that have a chemical, mental imbalance that challenges them to control their genius in a way that the general society can easily experience.

        For instance, when you have the autistic child that is blind but can play the piano brilliantly without lessons, that is when there is a fine line with the characteristic and if not nurtured properly the scales can be tipped either way.

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