Are smart people more susceptible to mental problems?

Originally, I wanted to cite celebrity examples (such as John Nash, Churchill, etc.) to answer this question, but in view of the refutation of "reasoning itself is not objective", I searched the literature and presented data to discuss it.

Let me start with the conclusion: People with high IQ are often accompanied by higher probability of mental illness and immune diseases, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, ADHD, asthma, and immune diseases.

In a study published in the "Intelligence" magazine last year, the author compared the 3715 members of the Mensa Association in the United States with data in the US National Database to analyze whether the prevalence of the disease in the study of high IQ people is higher than the average. There are significant differences. The results show that people with high IQ are 20% more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), 80% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, and 80% more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety. The probability of at least one mood disorder is 182% higher than normal. In terms of physiological diseases, people with high IQ are 213% more likely to suffer from environmental allergies, 108% more likely to suffer from asthma, and 84% more likely to suffer from autoimmune diseases.

A statistical comparison of the average prevalence between high IQ people and the US National Database. The histogram researcher analyzed in the paper that high IQ people have a tendency to "intelligently over-excited" and a high degree of central nervous system sensitivity. On the bright side, this helps them to carry out creative and artistic work. However, this unusually high sensitivity and responsiveness of the nervous system can also lead to deeper depression and mental health problems. The same is true for poets, novelists, and people with high linguistic intelligence. Their strong emotional response to the environment increases the tendency to reflect and worry, both of which are manifestations of depression and anxiety.

The researchers further pointed out that excessive psychological reactions can affect the immune system. People with over-excited nervous system may have a strong reaction to seemingly harmless external stimuli, such as annoying clothes tags or sounds (please replenish Sheldon yourself), and this reaction will further become chronic stress and cause discomfort. immune response.

The researcher proposed a model of high nervous system and physiological diseases caused by mental excitement. When the body thinks it is in danger (whether it is an objectively real toxin or an imaginary annoying sound), it will induce a series of physiological reactions. , Activate countless hormones, neurotransmitters and signaling molecules. When these pathways are activated for a long time, they will change our body and brain, and even cause diseases such as asthma, allergies and autoimmune diseases. Some previous documents have also confirmed that gifted children have a higher incidence of allergic diseases and asthma. A study showed that 44% of people with an IQ over 160 suffer from allergies, while only 28% of age-matched peers.

As a scientific researcher in the field of multi-omics (genome, transcriptome, epitome, proteome), although the current scientific research is still less at the molecular mechanism level, it can give "high IQ people are more susceptible to mental illness." Scientific basis. But I believe that from the topological structure of the genome to epigenetics and 3D genome to the interaction with the environment, scientific researchers will give more objective and accurate answers in the future.

The real sense of smartness is not "independence", let alone "arrogance", but good at maximizing the use of existing knowledge resources and network resources, good at efficient use of limited time, and good at stopping losses. High IQ may be more effective in dealing with emotional problems, but it is not easy to be troubled. When there are more places on fire, the fire extinguishing ability becomes stronger, but it does not mean that the fire extinguishing ability is strong and it is not easy to catch fire.

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