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Poets more stable than playwrights

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7039.1118 (Published 04 May 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1118
  1. Pritpal S Tamber

    Poets suffer from higher levels of manic depression than playwrights or prose writers, says a study published in the May issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry. But the study found that playwrights and prose writers had a higher prevalence than poets of depression, alcoholism, personality deviations, and marital problems.

    The data were collected from postmortem biographies of a hundred British and American male writers. Each writer was then ranked for “amounts of psychopathology”—penalty points were given for such characteristics as potentially handicapping personality traits, …

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