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Are INTP's more prone to schizophrenia than other types?

31141 Views 49 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  lemaannia
Are INTP's really more prone (even slightly) to schizophrenia than other personality types? Could this be due to the INT?
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The link between genius and madness | Mail Online

The Link Between Genius and Madness

They say there's a fine line between genius and madness. Painter Van Gogh and author Jack Kerouac were both hailed as geniuses but displayed self-destructive behaviour.
Now scientists have discovered a gene which is linked to both intelligence and one of the most common forms of madness - schizophrenia.
It could explain why some of the world's foremost minds have also suffered from the psychotic disorder.
Kerouac was diagnosed with the condition and many believe Van Gogh, who famously chopped off part of his left ear during a bout of depression, was a sufferer - along with the brilliant Russian dancer Vaclav Nijinsky.
Nobel prize-winning mathematician John Nash, portrayed by Russell Crowe in the film A Beautiful Mind, has also had a life-long struggle with schizophrenia.
Researchers say it's all down to a particular gene, known as DARPP-32, which links genius with madness.
Three quarters of people inherit a version of the DARPP-32 gene, which enhances the brain's ability to think by improving information processing by the prefrontal cortex - the part of the brain that orchestrates thoughts and actions.
The American scientists found that the same gene also shaped and controlled a nerve circuit closely involved with schizophrenia.
The circuit links the prefrontal cortex with another brain region, the stiatum. This affects brain fundtions that play an important role in schizophrenia, such as motivation, working memory and certain types of learning.
The discovery suggests the disease might be the flip-side of an evolutionary change which in other ways helped our success by improving our intelligence.
Dr Daniel Weinberger, from the US National Institute for Mental Health, said: "Our results raise the question of whether a gene variant favoured by evolution, that would normally confer advantage, may translate into a disadvantage if the prefrontal cortex is impaired, as in schizophrenia.
"Normally, enhanced cortex connectivity with the striatum would provide increased flexibility, working memory capacity and executive control.
"But if other genes and environmental events conspire to render the cortex incapable of handling such information, it could backfire - resulting in the neural equivalent of a superhighway to a dead end."
The researchers, whose findings are reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, studied more than 1,000 samples of DNA from both healthy individuals and patients with schizophrenia.
DNA from a number of post mortems was also examined and brain scans carried out.
Previous work in animals has shown that DARPP-32 switches streams of information for processing by the cortex.
It operates partly through dopamine, a chemical which relays nerve messages and is known to be overactive in schizophrenic patients.
Researcher Dr Paul Greenguard said: "Although several groups have looked for possible clinical relevance of DARPP-32, they have not met with great success.
"This study shows a strong connection between this molecule and human cognition - and perhaps with schizophrenia."
The scientists found that in 257 families affected by schizophrenia, people with the disease were more likely to have the common version of the gene.
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity Sane said: "There have been so many hopes of finding a gene for schizophrenia, many of which have ended in a cul-de-sac.
"However, the more we can discover about its origins and why this devastating condition has continued to disable the lives of 1 in 100 people worldwide, the close we will get to finding more effective treatments and an eventual cure."
More than half a million people in the UK are believed to suffer from a form of the condition, which causes disordered ideas, beliefs and experiences.
The most common ages for it to develop are 15-25 in men and 25-35 in women.
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"The idea exposed by the article is that there is a connection between intelligence and mental illness. Even assuming that such premise is true, your reasoning does not follows: The INTP personality type doesn't imply mental sharpness. Granted, INTP's traits might fall into what is socially accepted as intelligence, but personality types denote preferences not skill.

Also, keep in mind that, according to the research, it is not the gene alone that causes mental illness, but the inability of the brain to cope with it. According to the research, having the gene does not imply that you'll be mentally ill; most will only be intelligent.

If we accept the article as correct, in order to make your point - that INTPs are slightly more prone to mental illness - you must assert that INTPs are indeed more intelligent."

My response:

Liberty Corner: IQ and Personality

In summary, here's what the statistics indicate about the correlation between personality traits and IQ:

  • Other personality traits being the same, an iNtuitive person (one who grasps patterns and seeks possibilities) is 27 times more likely to have a high IQ than a Sensing person (one who focuses on sensory details and the here-and-now).

  • Again, other traits being the same, an Introverted person is 8 times more likely to have a high IQ than one who is Extraverted; a Thinking (logic-oriented) person is 2.5 times more likely to have a high IQ than a Feeling (people-oriented) person; and a Judging person (one who seeks closure) is about twice as likely to have a high IQ than a Perceiving person (one who likes to keep his options open).

  • Moreover, if you encounter an INTJ (Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging), there is a 37% probability that his IQ places him in the top 2 percent of the population. The probability is 20% for an INTP, 15% for an INFJ, and 8% for an INFP. These four types account for 66% of the high-IQ population but only 6% of the total population.
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"I most certainly don't trust typology as such a great instrument..."

I don't either. I'm just curious.

Supposing the typology statistics are correct: it appears that there is something in introversion and intuition together in a personality that can create genius (not always):

"Moreover, if you encounter an INTJ (Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging), there is a 37% probability that his IQ places him in the top 2 percent of the population. The probability is 20% for an INTP, 15% for an INFJ, and 8% for an INFP. These four types account for 66% of the high-IQ population but only 6% of the total population."

If there is indeed a link between genius and mental illness, then some of these mentally ill geniuses would be "IN" types (obviously).

Now the question is whether there is really a link between "IN" types and mental illness.
"Can you accurately type a person who is possessed of a serious mental disorder? If a person has such an affliction and it deeply affects their thoughts and actions then you wouldn't be measuring their true personality but their personality as filtered through their disease."

I am not sure if someone with a mental disorder can be accurately typed. However, I was referring to people who are typed before the onset of a mental illness.
If you look up certain disorders, like:

Schizoid personality disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder
Avoidant personality disorder
even ADHD

They all have symptoms very similar to typical behavior of the "IN" types, or "NP" types in the case of ADD. But then it's the old question... are they truly disorders or just a different way of being?
Yes, the disorders you have listed do fall under the schizophrenia spectrum, I think, however, I was specifically referring to the psycotic disorder, schizophrenia. I am not sure if these disorders necessarily lead to a predisposition to schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is still not understood well and its prognosis bleak even to this day. One of my close family members has the disorder and is also near genius. I think she's INTP, or, definitely IN. Then there's John Nash, Van Gogh, Poe, Nietzche...

It's almost as if S types are more hardy and grounded in reality! At least I see a difference in the two types within my own family.

I think the disorders you listed are actual disorders because, unlike various personality traits that vary from the norm, these disorders cause a diminished quality of life, a restriction or handicap.
Oh, I accidentally spelled psychotic wrong in the last post! Sorry!
While I don't give credit to any study supporting the theory, I can see the logical connection of a person with such inclinations to schizophrenia. Therefore, I'd like to express a few thoughts on the matter:

While INTPs could be more prone to one type of mental illness, it is fair to say they would be less prone to other disorders. Further, it is equally logical that other types would be more likely to develop other types of disorders. For instance, as with ENFPs (I believe) happen to develop bipolarity. After all, mental disorder, in essence, implies that the brain cannot function properly because of a lack of balance, and that can happen from a range of reasons - reasons which different types may provide.
I don't agree with you entirely. I think that INTP's could be prone to more than one mental illness, not just one. Without extensive research we cannot limit it to just one. Other types could be more likely to develop other kinds of mental illnesses, but there could definitely be some types that share (slight) predispositions to the same mental illnesses. I do agree that the different types may provide insight into the reasons behind the lack of balance that in essence causes mental disorder.
Yeah I think that's the key.. it's a disorder if it impacts the quality of life. When I go through the lists of those disorders, some symptoms apply to me, some don't. Some of the 'symptoms' don't seem like actual problems, they are just how I am. Others are things I want to change about myself (like being more social)

Some people are just happy being alone though, so if they seem AVPD, is it really a disorder if they are happy? Even if it does seem sad to the rest of us?
The symptoms of avoidant personality disorder sound like emotional sensitivity combined with low self-esteem. Emotional sensitvity is not a disorder, but I think hypersensitive people (I'm one) could benefit from improving self-esteem. Low self-esteem itself is an issue but a very common one that can be worked on in therapy and through introspection. The general symptoms of the disorder are extreme shyness, feeling inadequate, and sensitivity to rejection. I am not sure if this sounds like an actual personality disorder or just an INF, ISF with low self-esteem.

I would have to say, in my opinion, that someone who prefers to be alone and is happy being alone doesn't have AVPD - unless they have just learned to adapt to avoiding social interactions out of fear of rejection and are now happy with solitude. I think someone with AVPD doesn't prefer solitude but chooses it in order to avoid further injury (rejection). I think he/ she would be happier if he found acceptance amongst others. But maybe many introverts have AVPD to some degree, and some have just learned to adapt to solitude and be happy. And I guess it would seem sad for us to see someone who avoids social interactions out of fear of rejection but who really desires to interact, but it wouldn't be sad to see someone who avoids social interactions not out of fear of rejection and is happier being alone.
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the only correct answer to this thread is: There is no data to support this hypothesis. All you armchair neuro-psychologists out there should back away from this thread and hit yourself in the mouth.

I dare you to call me a J

btw I met a man with schizophrenia today. He thought he was a time traveler who invented the basis for "all modern technology" 300 years ago but it was stolen by neil diamond. Oh, yes I mean the pop icon.He had also figured out how to use quantum entanglement to travel inside the sun.Oddly pleasant chap. Now was it his Ne or Ti behind that ratiocination? Ah, I got it. Ne was behind the invention,Ti worked out the mechanics behind inner star travel and his lack of Fe prevented him from realizing neil diamond was a rat bastard.

LOL Nope, no data!
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