The Geniuses Really Do Commit Suicide…Well, Some of Them

We have some data on the issue:

For the first time reliable data has shown that the suicide rate among people working in creative roles is significantly higher than the national average.

The first-ever study of suicide by profession from the ONS, which covered England in the years from 2011 to 2015, showed that people who work in arts-related jobs are up to four times more likely to commit suicide.

My prep school freshman and sophomore English teacher put my parents off with this:

My parents had a far lower impression of this man, and much of that came from the first parent-teacher conference they went to.  The basic problem (although he wouldn’t put it this way) was that I was insufficiently deconstructionistic to suit his fancy.  Somehow he conveyed this to my parents, who came back with their idea that I was very intelligent and did well elsewhere.  His response: yes, but geniuses commit suicide.

What’s interesting about this study is that the geniuses doing themselves in are in the arts, not the hard sciences.  Had I stuck with the arts, he may well have been right.  But I didn’t, either stick with the arts or commit suicide.

One reason why I shifted into engineering–in addition to the desire for steady meals–was to get away from people such as him.  Doing that, as Robert Frost would say, has made all the difference.  The road is not only better but, on this side of eternity, longer too.

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