Do americans have a propensity for hypomania?

firework_dark_background.jpgThe New York Times has a short piece on Peter Whybrow’s and John Gartner’s theory that Americans have a greater genetic propensity for hypomania, the elevated mood state sometimes found in bipolar disorder.

This, they suggest, explains aspects of American culture such as focus on energetic enthusiasm and respect for new ideas.

Interestingly, recent genetic evidence is now pointing to the fact that genes likely to be present in people diagnosed with schizophrenia overlap with those found in people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, suggesting that these may not be distinct disorders, but exist on a continuum.

If Whybrow and Gartner are right, therefore, might Americans be more likely to show traits of psychosis and schizotypy as well?

This may not necessarily be a bad thing, as high levels of these traits have been linked to greater mathematical ability and creativity.

Link to article ‘The Hypomanic American’.

One Comment

  1. Posted December 13, 2005 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been reading your site fairly regular. I came across these articles, probably through “boing boing”. I think you’ll enjoy comparing the two:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1491935,00.html

    and

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/11/magazine/11ideas_section3-2.html?ex=1291957200&en=2d60b89d4a8a6d57&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc


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