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You’re Not Mad, You’re Creative: Orna Ross on the creative personality type

Posted Jan 23 2010 5:50pm

In her Creativity Portal article, You’re Not Mad, You’re Creative, Orna Ross invites us to rid ourselves of self-blame and criticism stemming from misunderstanding our creative abilities. With the help of an insightful self-test, we can revision our past and present experiences, and recognize, nurture and protect our gifts that may otherwise seem disruptive and chaotic. Here are some excerpts:

“While the [creative] person is all too aware of their problems, they are often unaware of their abilities.

“This, allied with the fact that they live in a society that prefers linear, rational thinking and behaviour, makes them try to fit into situations that don’t suit them — and then blame themselves when that doesn’t work out.

“Hence: ‘I’m too sensitive’; ‘I’m too much of a perfectionist’; ‘I think too much’.

“Over time, self-blame and lack of understanding leads many bright, creative people into marginalized lives as adults — underemployed, dissatisfied and often in tremendous psychological pain.

“Creativity is a wonderful ability — but it is not always experienced that way. It can cause problems when you, or your nearest and dearest, do not understand what it means, in practical terms.”


Orna Ross is an Irish novelist and creative nonfiction writer and has taught creative principles, writing and freewriting. Read more at

Articles: Mental Health and Fitness
The Creative Personality Type: Paradoxes of Creative People
Misdiagnosis of gifted adults: Dysfunctions versus aptitudes

creativity and madness, creative personality type, mental health and creativity, psychology of creativity

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