Stereotyping geniuses as mentally crazy are not new. Though it is not cool or funny to have a mental disorder or making fun of people suffering from it, it is true that this stereotyping has been there for a long time now. There's no doubt why we love the 'mad genius' character Sheldon Cooper in famous TV series Big Bang Theory.
But, now, a recent study has found that people with higher IQs are actually at more risk of developing mental illness. The study found that: "Those with high intelligence are at a significantly greater risk for the examined psychological disorders and physiological diseases."
A team of US researchers surveyed 3,715 members of American Mensa with an IQ higher than 130. An "average IQ score" or "normal IQ score" is said to be people with a score between 85 and 115.
Participants were asked to report whether they had been diagnosed with mental illnesses, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Also, they were asked to report about anxiety disorders or if they suspected that they have suffered from any mental illness that is yet to be diagnosed.
Researchers compared it to the statistical national average for each of the illness and found that the participants had considerably higher rates of varying disorders.
The research was based on a model that people with 'hyper brains' (intelligent people) are more reactive to environmental stimulus. And, it "may predispose them to certain psychological disorders as well as physiological conditions involving elevated sensory and altered immune and inflammatory responses."
10 percent of the general population was diagnosed with anxiety disorder but in case of the participants, it rose to 20 percent, according to the study published in the Science Direct journal.
The study confirms that those with higher IQs react more to their environment. The study's authors wrote: "Unique intensities and over-excitabilities... can be at once both remarkable and disabling on many levels."
"A significant portion of these individuals are suffering on a daily basis as a result of their unique emotional and physical over-excitabilities," authors added.