The insanity hoax. Exposing the myth of the mad genius
This groundbreaking book sheds new light on an old and destructive stereotype: the idea that the highly talented must suffer a lifetime of psychological torment in payment for their exceptional gifts. Despite exaggerated professional claims, widespread popular assumptions, and the dramatic parade of mad geniuses in the media, no one has ever proved that creative people are more prone to psychopathology than any other group.

This groundbreaking book sheds new light on an old and destructive stereotype: the idea that the highly talented must suffer a lifetime of psychological torment in payment for their exceptional gifts. Despite exaggerated professional claims, widespread popular assumptions, and the dramatic parade of mad geniuses in the media, no one has ever proved that creative people are more prone to psychopathology than any other group. The Insanity Hoax tracks this fantasy s history from its birth in ancient Greece to today, showing how Plato’s benevolent divine madness slowly darkened into a symptom of bipolar disorder and why the myth is too deeply embedded in society to ever disappear. Psychologist, educator, and jazz writer Dr. Judith Schlesinger uses her decades of research and creative and clinical experience to make a convincing case, while providing a witty and entertaining read.