In a study of 40 children who had or were at risk for bipolar disorder scored higher on a measure of creativity than 18 children without the disorder.

All of the children’s parents had bipolar disorder. Half of the children of bipolar parents had bipolar disorder themselves, and the other half had ADHD.

In the measure used, the Barron-Welsh Art Scale (BWAS), people are asked if they like or dislike pictures of symmetrical and asymmetrical figures. People with higher indexes of creativity tend to rate “dislike” for the symmetrical figures.

Bipolar parents had 120% higher “dislike” scores than non-bipolar parents. Bipolar or at-risk children had 107% higher “dislike” scores, and ADHD children had 91% higher “dislike” scores.

Simeonova, K.D. et al. (2005). Creativity in familial bipolar disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 39(6), 623-631.