Drugs and alcohol can fuel creativity is a myth, says psychiatrist

June 25th, 2010 - 3:11 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 25 (ANI): Psychiatrists have claimed that drinking and taking drugs does not enhance a person’s creative quotient.

While there are many artists and writers famous for drug abuse, most of them created their greatest works when they were not intoxicated, according to psychiatrist Iain Smith.

In fact, alcohol and drugs are more likely to hamper creativity, he said.

Smith is an addiction expert from Gartnavel Royal Hospital in Glasgow.

“The reason why this myth is so powerful is the allure of the substances, and the fact that many artists need drugs to cope with their emotions. Artists are, in general, more emotional people,” he said.

While speaking at a Royal College of Psychiatrists meeting in Edinburgh, doctor Smith said that American writers Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway were addicted to alcohol.

The poets Coleridge and Keats took opiates like authors Proust and Edgar Allan Poe, while the painter Vincent van Gogh drank the green spirit absinthe, Smith said, reports The Independent.

American writers F Scott Fitzgerald, Eugene O’Neill and William Faulkner were drinkers and received the Nobel Prize for Literature, Smith told.

“The idea that drugs and alcohol give artists unique insights and powerful experiences is an illusion,” he said.

“When you try and capture the experiences triggered by drugs or alcohol they are often nonsense. These drugs often wipe your memory, so it’s hard to remember how you were in that state of mind,” he added. (ANI)

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