If creativity and mental illnesses are linked, does medical treatment for such disorders put a damper on creativity? Psychiatrist Richard A. Friedman wrote about an experience with a client that could indicates the answer could be "yes" in the New York Times on June 3, 2002. Friedman's client was a photographer who suffered from depression but was afraid that treatment might halt her creativity. Before the client decided to try out an antidepressant, she allowed Friedman to view her photography portfolio. He commented that the pictures were "sad and moving." After treatment, the photography had changed in color and subject and the client felt that they were not as high of quality as her previous work. See full story

And for individuals diagnosed with manic depression, also known as bipolar, the effects of treatment with lithium may snuff out creativity. In her book "Touched with Fire," Kay Redfield Jamison notes that although the drug saves many lives, some researchers have found that patients feel less creative and found life "flatter and more colorless" after treatment.