Year: 2002 Source: Review of General Psychology, v.6, no.3, (2002), p.271-286 SIEC No: 20050488

The authors examine why poets – & especially female poets – have a documented tendency to suffer from mental illness. They posit that poetry may attract those with a predisposition toward illness, the domain of poetry may particularly reward those who exhibit illness, & unusual aspects of poetry writing may increase the likelihood of poets succumbing to illness. In addition, they suggest that the greater difficulty that women tend to experience in ignoring intrinsic motivational constraints may cause successful female poets to have an even higher incidence of psychological stress & mental illness than male poets. (128 refs)