Studies show that there is a correlation between mental illness and creativity. Certain traits associated with mental illness make individuals more creative. They are more likely to have other characteristics that lead to enhanced creativity. These include fluency of ideas and motivation to perform creatively.
Links between people who have schizoaffective disorders and symptoms and creative people have been found. According to Acar and Sen of the University of Georgia, there are links between creativity and schizophrenia.
Some of the common symptoms of schizophrenia can allow one to be more creative. The can be over-inclusive thinking, regression, reduced latent inhibition and magical or unusual experiences. Over-inclusive thinking can aid in creativity in that a person is more able to have various ideas in all kinds of areas, and their mind is more open to new ideas.
Though this can be problematic when extreme, it can also help when thinking creatively and thinking of things in different ways. Regression, or reverting to back to childhood behavior, can also aid in creativity as it allows one to be more free from societal adult constraints. They are then more likely to relate back to the more free flowing thoughts and behaviors they had as a child.
Reduced latent inhibition, or constraints placed on thinking, can help in these same ways. Without constraints most people place on their thoughts, those with these traits can think in unique ways. Magical or unusual thinking also can be helpful in creativity as it also allows people to see things in different ways that can lead to original or novel ideas from having an active imagination.
These characteristics can be common between creative people and those with schizoaffective disorders. Still, their needs to be some sort of control over these traits in order to make it a benefit like creativity.