[[quoteright:233:[[Webcomic/GirlGenius http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ggmain20081203b_2543.jpg]]]]

->''"Does he really have to kill them to prove his point? Can't he just show them a pie chart?"''
-->-- '''Joel Robinson''', ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'', ''Film/TheMadMonster''

Mad science isn't just about cool gadgets or revenge; it's a ''[[ChronicVillainy compulsion]]''. The MadScientist really ''is'' insane, with an actual psychological disorder that [[CrazyAwesome causes both brilliance and madness.]]

In some series, this leads to a storyline in which one or more of the Mad Scientists (or perhaps some saner allies) seek out [[FindTheCure a cure]] for their condition. Invariably, however, the cure comes at a cost, usually the loss of their terrible, manic genius, or else their energy and drive across the board. In other series, there may ''already'' exist a treatment for it, but someone forgets ([[NoMedicationForMe or "forgets"]]) to take it one day...

Although obviously more extreme than in real life, this sort of thing is TruthInTelevision (or other media): some medications used to treat mental illness leave the patient drained of energy, unable to think clearly, cut off from the full use of the senses, or any combination thereof. This is one factor in some of the many [[MadArtist historical geniuses]] and others who refuse to take their medication, preferring insanity to a lackluster funk.

Named for the communicable form of mad science in the {{webcomic|s}} ''Webcomic/AMiracleOfScience''.

Compare WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity, which, depending on the series, may be either the cause or the result of SRMD. Likely to lead to a NoMedicationForMe[=/=]FlowersForAlgernonSyndrome situation. Can quickly lead to TheMadnessPlace. Not to be confused with MemeticMutation. Also compare TheSparkOfGenius, which is sometimes combined with this syndrome, as well as NeurodiversityIsSupernatural, where atypical mental conditions convey less scientific talents.
!!Known Vectors:


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/SoulEater'', Dr. Franken Stein suffers from this, explaining how as a child doctors tried to figure out the reason for his mental instability and desire to dissect everything, traits which also make him the most powerful graduate of Shibusen. He even goes on to explain how insanity is contagious, meaning his condition gets worse when madness begins to consume the world. When his madness is less controlled, he goes from analytical genius to stark-raving madman.
** In Stein's case, it could be said he was crazy and ''then'' took to science as he grew up. Young Stein is pure SlasherSmile, with a side of "take it apart to see how it works". With "it" often being a living, breathing thing--and he got pretty good at putting "it" back together too.
* The Whispered in ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'' are born with some form of MadScience gene that allows them to build and instinctively understand one particular type of futuristic BlackBox technology, such as the creation of HumongousMecha, futuristic submarine construction, AI, cold-fusion reactors, or similar. Which BlackBox technology any given Whispered has knowledge of is random, and when they access their knowledge abilities they slip into some sort of catatonic state.
* Doctor Jail Scaglietti, the BigBad of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'', is eventually revealed to have been born with an uncontrollable obsession to discover the secrets behind the [[LostTechnology Lost Logia]] of Ancient Belka and Al-Hazard [[spoiler:[[ArtificialHuman when he was created]] by the [[GovernmentConspiracy leaders of the TSAB]] as a result of [[PlayingWithSyringes project "Unlimited Desire"]]]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Will Magnus, the creator of the ComicBook/MetalMen in the DC universe, suffers from bipolar disorder. Taking pills prevents him from acting irrational and creating machines of death--like making a robot out of uranium--but also stifles his creativity--like making a sexy robot out of platinum.
* In some of his incarnations, the Lizard form of Curt Connors in ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' acts like a mad scientist, even though normally, he is a good guy. Complicating things is that on other occasions, the Lizard form is non-sentient.
* Most versions of ''The Comicbook/IncredibleHulk'' revolve around Bruce Banner's attempts to resolve his...shall we say, emotional issues?
* Hank "Comicbook/AntMan" Pym. As he has stated, he only takes on board scientific projects that interest him or stimulate his imagination. He is also somewhat prone to [[FreakOut bouts of insanity]] and [[MyGreatestFailure creating villainous robots]]. Exactly what mental illness Hank suffers from has never really been disclosed, but the general consensus is that he really should be on some sort of medication. One theory is that he's neurotically obsessed with ''being a super-hero'', despite being completely insane.
** Hank also turns out to be astonishingly easy to brainwash into believing almost anything. He was once brainwashed into believing that a woman with a [[MyBrainIsBig pathologically large brain]] (as in, a few ''feet'' across) was his desperately ill wife who needed him to cure her. This was actually a ploy to get him to engineer a mobile platform for her so she could be a PersonOfMassDestruction with her psychic powers.
* Mento of ''Comicbook/DoomPatrol'' is arrogant and mentally unstable at the best of times. He's also a freaking genius with several doctorates and a business savant who makes Batman look broke. He started heroing both to impress his (then-future) wife and because he was ''bored.'' It was after he lost Rita that he really went downhill.
* Everett Ducklair from ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' couldn't help himself with this trope, as near-everything he created turned out to be a weapon of mass destruction.
* A filler issue of ''ComicBook/SuperiorFoesOfSpiderMan'' [[ADayInTheLimelight focuses on]] the Looter, a second rate scientist turned super-powered but still second rate villain. The Looter's ego makes him constantly try to outmaneuver Spider-Man, and this culminates in his being brutally beaten by the "[[ComicBook/SuperiorSpiderMan Superior Spider-Man]]". Later, at a [[TropaholicsAnonymous villain support group]] meeting, he acknowledges that he [[ReluctantPsycho may have a problem]], because even though he logically knows that he will be beaten even worse or killed if he encounters Spider-Man again, he can't stop himself because he "knows" he's superior to everyone else and has to show it by committing crimes.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* The ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}''[=/=]''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' forum-role play known as ''FanFic/TheMadScientistWars'', naturally. Almost every major member of the main cast is a Mad Scientist, and SRMD is shown to be well documented in the medical field. It's a purely genetic condition, of course. Interestingly, one character was shown to have been taking some kind of medication to repress the syndrome, before a skipped dose and stress caused him to "break through".
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' FanFic ''{{Fanfic/Contraptionology}}'' turns SRMD up to eleven when the entirety of Ponyville is infected.

* Dr. Herbert West the ''Film/ReAnimator''. He performs science [[ForScience because of the need to]] ''[[ForScience know]]'', consequences be damned. His search to conquer death may have started with the benign reasoning of conquering humanity's greatest mystery and advancing medical science, but he goes WAY past the point of no return into straight up mad-scientific compulsion.
* In ''Transylvania 6-5000'', Dr. Malavaqua is a normal scientist as long as he's outside his laboratory. On entering it, however, he proceeds to muss up his hair and go into full-blown MadScientist mode.
* It's implied that the title character of ''Film/YoungFrankenstein'' inherited his tendency toward mad science from his more famous predecessor.
** In the musical, it's stated outright. In fact, it's sung, in "Join The Family Business":
--->''The Roqueforts are celebrated for their Roquefort cheese\\
The Rothschilds are famous for their wines\\
Hersheys have their chocolates, and Liptons have their teas\\
But when it comes to making monsters you can't beat the Frankensteins!''

* Oliver Sacks's book ''The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat'' mentions a jazz drummer who has Tourette's Syndrome. He would take his anti-Tourette meds during the week and be less prone to compulsions, but stop taking them for the weekend so he could do the wild drum improvisations that made him a desirable musician.
* Supervillains often suffer from "Malign Hypercognition Disorder" in Austin Grossman's book ''Literature/SoonIWillBeInvincible''. It's stated that the MadScientist types will go this way when they are at the far right edge of the bell curve. Doctor Impossible knows his plans will be thwarted, knows he could use his inventions for other purposes, but has a psychological compulsion to try to rule the world. His alternating attempts to hide the painful truth from himself and justified self-pity make him TheWoobie.
** Another [[RetiredMonster former villain]] with the same condition, Baron Ether, seems to have come to terms with the fact that he has an incurable condition and is burned out on the constant cycle of escape and doomed plans of world conquest. He needs to be kept under house arrest, and would, of course, escape in a heartbeat given the chance, but he really doesn't want to. He tries to get Dr. Impossible to understand, but it [[CassandraTruth bounces right off his dementia]].
* In Creator/LarryNiven's "Literature/MadnessHasItsPlace", it's revealed that [=ARM=] (the technology-suppressing SecretPolice branch of the UN) deliberately employs sociopaths and paranoid schizophrenics, though they're issued mandatory medication. The main character is one (he's implied to be a former serial killer), but in order to help prepare a defense against the approaching Kzinti aliens, he goes off his medication. His descent into paranoia and sociopathy make him frighteningly competent at war preparations for a humanity that hasn't known war in centuries. The [=ARM=] also creates treatments to ''artificially'' induce paranoid schizophrenia and other disorders in its agents, in case enough naturally occurring crazies of the right sort are unavailable.
* Although they're rarely developed characters, any Marthter that any Igor has worked for on the Literature/{{Discworld}}. Either they start out mad or become mad as a result of their scientific activities.
** The best example is Jeremy in ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime''. When he stops taking his medicine (although Igor specifically says "Marther pourth out two thpoonfuls each day", using an ExactWords ploy), his thoughts come much more quickly, although the nature of Jeremy's project makes the Igor extremely uneasy (and Igors are no stranger to Things Man Was Not Meant To Know).
*** It doesn't help Igor that his grandfather was the assistant to the ''last'' guy who tried this stunt, and he's one of the few mortal beings who know what really happened. It didn't end well that time, either.
* In the Creator/DavidBrin novel ''Literature/KilnPeople'', Mad Science is caused by one of several psychological complexes. The protagonist, a private detective with an interest in psychology, listens to the villain ramble and mentally goes down a list of symptoms, eventually diagnosing him with a textbook case of one of the complexes.
* Played straight in the ''Literature/MorganvilleVampires'' books; Myrnin is a MadScientist vampire who has developed a disease that only targets vampires. He tries to find a cure and manages to develop medication to slow it down, but often forgets to take it, turning him into a bloodthirsty monster, which is why he needs someone there to help him remember, but hiring an assistant often doesn't go well.
* [[spoiler:Lydia]] from ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfProfessorJackBaling'' calls it Hypercognitive Dementia. Itís characterized by the ability to create devices that "regular" science would classify as impossible. However, there are downsides as well, including a marked [[LackOfEmpathy reduction in empathy]], an inability to see how oneís actions affect others, and a belief that [[ItsAllAboutMe the sufferer's struggles are the only ones that matter]].
* In ''Literature/PleaseDontTellMyParentsIBlewUpTheMoon'' (sequel to ''Literature/PleaseDontTellMyParentsImASupervillain''), more detail is given on Penny's. For one thing, her power still doesn't like repeating itself, and also doesn't really repair things.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* One episode of ''Series/{{Monk}}'' has the eponymous detective put on medication for his crippling OCD, but the meds dampen his brilliant powers of observation and detection. He gives up the meds voluntarily when he realizes [[spoiler:he can't remember the face of his dead wife]].
* ''Series/{{House}}'': The title character seems to need his physical pain and emotional bitterness in order to keep his remarkable (if unorthodox) medical talent. When he tries methadone he finds himself pain-free, cleans himself up, and seems genuinely happy...until he realizes he's lost his edge. Being pain-free made him act uncharacteristically nice and accommodating to the worried parents of his patient which directly resulted in creating a health problem when the kid had actually just been dehydrated (he had a reaction to the contrast dye in their first test; everything else stemmed from that). When he was in a relationship with Cuddy, a patient died as a direct result of him losing his edge because he was happy. He told her that their relationship had killed a patient, and would continue to kill patients. ''And it was worth it''. Making things even worse for him, ''too much pain'' has a similar effect. When his Vicodin is cut off, the pain becomes so intense that he gets sloppy and almost gets a little girl's arm cut off when he misdiagnoses her porphyria as necrotizing fascitis.
* ''{{Series/Perception}}'' has Dr. Daniel Pierce, a paranoid schizophrenic neuroscientist that aids the FBI if there is a case that involves the brain in some way. His schizophrenia actually helps him on cases by giving him clues about what his mind unconsciously sees but he doesn't through hallucinations of people that are somehow related to the theme of the case.
* ''Series/AgentCarter'': Howard Stark says that when he gets an idea for an invention, no matter how dangerous, he can't not make it. That's why he has a vault for his "bad babies". He puts these dangerous inventions in there because he never planned on selling them to ''anyone''. "I can't control what I make but I ''can'' control what I sell."

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the tabletop RPG setting ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'', "MadScientist" is actually a type of playable character. While it isn't a disease in the classic sense, being a MadScientist in this setting is an incurable condition, as [[spoiler:demons whisper clues about devices that should not work, but do, into the ears of eager listeners, all in an attempt to hasten [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the end]].]] Side effects include developing phobias of common items, depression, slavish obsession over one's creations, and possibly even horrific nightmares. Despite this--or perhaps because of it--Mad Scientists were among the most popular character types.
* Although all [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Orks]] in ''Tabletopgame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' are already insane by human standards, their "[[GadgeteerGenius mekboyz]]" and "[[DeadlyDoctor painboyz]]" are even less stable, and infamous for performing acts of mad genius that unsettle even their fellow Orks. This is due to their very DNA--as a warrior race created by extinct {{precursors}}, some Orks have an instinctive understanding of science or medicine that grows through experimentation, compelling them to tinker in machine shops or perform unnecessary surgery on their squadmates. The end result is typically crude and dangerously unstable, but undeniably effective, even if the Ork can't explain how he got to it. It helps that Orks are latent psykers, to the extent that the fact that [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve they expect a device to work]] allows their more insane creations to function in spite of the laws of physics.
* ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'':
** In ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'', the Sons of Ether were basically MadScientist technomancers, with a penchant for Victorian SteamPunk or [[RaygunGothic 1950s rayguns and giant robots]]. There was a thin line between maniacal Sons of Ether and Marauders (Awakened who have gone insane and warp reality all around them). Certainly a Technocrat who went Marauder would be a textbook example of a futuristic Mad Gadgeteer. In fact, the Technocracy called awakened mages and other supernaturals "reality deviants". Come to think of it, in ''Mage: The Ascension'', paradigm dissonance ''is'' considered a form of insanity, if you define insanity as experiencing things differently from what the majority (The Consensus) experiences. For the Awakened, if their avatar warps reality, then their "hallucinations" can become a new (subtle) piece of reality.
*** Arguably, the Sons are actually an aversion of the trope; while most mages have their powers as a result of what is more or less a psychotic break that turns their view of the world into reality around them, the Sons are former Technocrats; that is to say, they're fully aware of how the consensus and paradigms work, and have made a conscious, informed decision about what they're going to believe rather than having to follow the mad inspiration of their Avatar like everyone else. They wear the tropes of the mad scientist, but mechanically they're more like [[DoingInTheWizard Sane Mages]].
** In ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'', a few Malkavian vampires are scientists that have had the Malkav curse inflicted upon them. (There's even an archetype for playing such a character in the handbook.)
* In ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression'', becoming a Genius warps you into something ''not quite human''. On the one hand, [[TouchedByVorlons Inspiration]] grants the ability to "delicately bend" the laws of physics, with higher levels of Inspiration naturally granting greater power. On the other hand, a more Inspired Genius will likely find it harder and harder to maintain his [[KarmaMeter Obligation]] and, if they [[MoralEventHorizon snap]], they can become an [[RealityWarper Unmada]] where one believes their mad science is true and everyone else is crazy, or worse, one of the Illuminated, at which point [[OmnicidalManiac everyone and everything]] [[ForScience starts to look like a]] [[HumanResources resource]]. Inspiration also seems to be contagious; [[{{Muggles}} Mortals]] exposed to mad science have a likelihood of becoming [[TheIgor Beholden]], if not a Genius in their own right.
* ''TabletopGame/PrometheanTheCreated'' uses a variant of this to explain the "demiurges" who created the Promethean Lineages -- they were mortals unwittingly channeling the Divine Fire of the universe, the fundamental force of existence. However, humans weren't ''made'' to channel the Divine Fire, which meant the demiurges were a bit...''off'' when they decided to bring human corpses back to life.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has this in the form of the tinker gnomes of the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' setting. A sub-race of gnomes who were cursed by a god to be brilliant and ingenious inventors [[RubeGoldbergDevice with absolutely no concept of 'practicality']] [[MadeOfExplodium or even 'safety']].
** The projected lifespan of tinker gnome [=NPCs=] was not very long: that of one who (as a player character) took up ''heroic engineering'' was usually measurable on a clock, as opposed to a calendar.
* ''TabletopGame/{{JAGS}}'', as one of the archetype ability choices in the CORE rulebook has "Twisted Genius", which at the basic, 8-point level allows the character to make physics-bending machines at a rate of one per month. At the 16-point level, the machines can outright break physics and can make them much faster, but the character also picks up a compulsion to build them and they usually have side-effects.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Cave Johnson, the founding mind behind Aperture Science, in ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}''. It's AllThereInTheManual that he inadvertently came up with an idea for a quantum hole in the space-time continuum, which he thought could have applications as a shower curtain.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' it's revealed that the central programming for testing produces a data burst akin to pleasure for the main [=AI=] when a test is completed, but the [=AI=] rapidly develop an immunity to it. This becomes a plot point when [[spoiler:Wheatley takes over and begins to suffer "test withdrawal"]].

* ''Webcomic/AMiracleOfScience'', the {{Trope Namer|s}}, is about a [[spoiler:[[BoxedCrook reformed mad scientist]]-turned]] police detective hunting down a mad roboticist who is threatening the stability of the solar system. The medications used in the treatment of SRMD makes one character, in his own words, "feel like [his] head is full of felt."
* The genetic condition of Mad Science (aka hypercognitive dementia, also known as Walton's Disorder, also known popularly as Mad Genius; DSM-IV numeric code 29533) and its eventual treatment is also a major theme in ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}''. There is talk of a cure, but [[spoiler:at least in the form we see it, it turns the mad scientist into a WeirdnessCensor-equipped mundane. Makes them impotent, too. Right at the end, a character from the future claims the cure has been perfected]].
** Because of their shared [[TheVerse 'verse]], Mad Scientists show up in ''Webcomic/SkinHorse'' as well. We've seen [[SassyBlackWoman Tigerlily]] and Captain Bram so far, but there's a whole Institute for the [[BlatantLies Sane]][[labelnote:*]]"Sane" indicating "not suffering from Walton's Disorder", not necessarily "good" or "sensible"[[/labelnote]] Study of Mad Genius out there. Not to mention St. Charlie, "a technocratic city dedicated to the irrational sciences".
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' is a GaslampFantasy series that calls this disorder "[[TheSparkOfGenius The Spark]]". Those affected are often called Sparks, or are said to have "The Spark". No cure in sight short of massive, irreversible brain damage. But the Spark who's working on it is getting ''much'' better about that whole "quality of life" thing! Sparks are compelled to build things--often ''extremely dangerous'' things--with little to no regard for consequences. It's been called "TheMadnessPlace", with three known levels. After the first, concern for safety starts to falter a bit--''all'' safety.
-->'''[[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20090819#.VSsHffl4oxA Agatha]]:''' We're just going to ''kill you'', and then you'll be ''fine''!
** Baron Klaus Wulfenbach is notable because he is the only Spark seen that is mostly ''immune'' to this, though he still has his moments. As Tarvek says to Gil [[spoiler:when he realizes that the Baron has been slaver-wasped but is somehow FightingFromTheInside]], Klaus Wulfenbach is special and breaks all of the "rules" concerning Sparks. Of course, he's also [[spoiler:a construct made from what was left of three Wulfenbach brothers who died in a lab accident]].
* The "inventor's gene" in ''Webcomic/GeneralProtectionFault'' is a relatively benign form of this.
* Hannelore's father in ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'' is implied to suffer from a version of this; in one strip he goes off his meds and builds her a "fully functional" robot boy. Well, almost fully functional; the fun parts are still in "beta". [[{{Pun}} Private beta, obviously]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, there exists a disorder by the name of Diedrick's Syndrome, in which an imbalance of neurotransmitters can lead to the sufferer screaming insanely about destroying the planet because, say, he originally just lost his car keys. (Such an episode is referred to as "dricking out".) While it isn't specific to [[MadScientist Devisors]] and [[GadgeteerGenius Gadgeteers]], they are the groups which seem most susceptible to it (though [[PsychoElectro electrical Manifestors]] are right up there with them). A devisor named Mega-Death is the current trope demonstrator. Ironically, he's a really nice, friendly guy. Normally. It's been suggested that the Alphas are screwing with his inventions to induce more frequent drick-outs [[ForTheEvulz because they think it's funny]].
** Devisors also frequently forget to do things like eat or sleep--this isn't related to Diedrick's, devisors and gadgeteers just tend to get ''really'' into their work--and the cafeteria has "devisor specials" that the friends of the inventor in question can take to them in the labs, containing easy-to-eat stuff like lots of finger foods.
** At least one MadScientist SuperVillain, Lady Havoc, is revealed to be a villain almost entirely due the effects of Diedrick's. She was once a nice enough person, but years of violence, [[ProfessorGuineaPig self-experimentation]], and drick-outs left her with little will but to continue inventing, stealing, and going on murderous rampages. Eventually, she resorts to a device that paralyzes herself inside a force field when she has an insanity attack, just so she can protect her long-lost family from her rages. In the end, she cuts a deal with the local superheroes--in exchange for them letting her help them rescue her brother from another supervillain, she'll surrender to the authorities and submit to treatment and lifetime imprisonment.
* In the web novel ''Star Harbor Nights'', people who have the Darkwell gene are somewhat mad-scientisty, moreso if they've inherited it from both their parents. The most normal of the double Darkwells we've met so far carries a stuffed rabbit with her everywhere and talks to it and has a...very well-equipped lab in her basement:
-->"Perfect, the first batch of impervion was created in a lab accident that killed twenty-five people. And the man who invented it is certifiably insane. It's not something you should be able to whip up in your basement in a few hours."
* WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment: Some of Doctor Insano's [[OriginStory origin stories]] have him being actually driven mad, either through bad videogames or through his anger at being rejected as a teenager.
* Website/SFDebris, a former teacher and someone who has worked with the mentally disabled, has remarked that he dislikes this trope as it undermines the achievements of mentally disabled people by suggesting that their disorders the source of their brilliance, rather than them being smart, hard working people living with a condition that actually hinders their ability to succeed in life.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' had the son's mentally-disabled best friend go off his meds. He went from a sweet, mentally-disabled child to a EvilBrit Mad Genius. It turns out those pills have been keeping his SuperPoweredEvilSide in check for years.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'':
** Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, like Agatha in the page image, has a big lever as an on/off switch for the lights. He also has an obsession with installing [[SelfDestructMechanism self-destruct buttons]] and other buttons or dials that [[InventionalWisdom actually make it easier for Perry the Platypus to thwart Doof's plans]].
** Even the titular characters aren't completely immune to the self-destruct system obsession, as evidenced when they built a Rainbow-inator. In fact, when Phineas found himself stranded on an island with no materials with which to build things, he slipped into a HeroicBSOD that Isabella had to snap him out of.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* John Nash, the schizophrenic mathematician portrayed in ''Film/ABeautifulMind'', found that his medications drained his energy and left him unable to accomplish anything, so he stopped taking them, electing instead to battle his mental illness with cold, methodical logic.
* A lot of sufferers of bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic-depressive disorder) or other mental disorders complain that the medication keeping them stable stifles their creativity.
** Subcritical manic state (hypomania) has shown distinct connection with heightened creativity--especially for lateral and divergent thinking. It's not impossible that many geniuses labeled "mad scientists" in history carried gentler forms of bipolar disorder. Some might have even been the legendary unipolar hypomanics--professionally referred to as "Lucky Bastards".
** Variations in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PPP1R1B PPP1R1B]] gene are linked to a mess of mental disorders, including bipolar disorder. The protein that the gene codes for is also linked to increased intelligence.
* Studies have shown that there's a slight trend for people with creative jobs to have a mental disorder. (For the science people: it's actually really slight, but supposedly outside the margin of error.) This isn't "everyone who does something well is insane", more like "if you do something well, you're statistically slightly more insane than everyone else".
** People who are better at thinking outside the box than others may not realize when thinking ''inside'' the box is more appropriate, leading to perceived eccentricities.
* Attention Deficit Disorder is a disruption of dopamine and ephedrine distribution within the brain which causes some areas to be flooded constantly with the chemicals, while others receive relatively little, similar to the effect that cocaine has on the brain. As dopamine can be loosely described as the "like button" neurochemical, while ephedrine is the "alertness" chemical, this causes the brain to follow somewhat random patterns regarding what is [[AttentionDeficitOhShiny perceived as important at the moment]], and [[SensoryOverload inhibits the ability to filter both mental and external noise]].[[note]]Contrary to popular belief, individuals with ADD/ADHD are not oblivious to what is going on around them. Its just that their brain flags the oven being on fire with the same level of importance as trying to remember where they put the remote, a stray thought about that lame joke they heard earlier, and the fact that they could ''really'' go for a grilled cheese sandwich right now. [[ExplainExplainOhCrap Wait. Grilled cheese sandwich. Oven. Smoke Alarm.]] OhCrap.[[/note]] This typically manifests as a fluctuating focus of curiosity over subjects considered "interesting", impulsive behavior and thoughts with little inhibition, bursts of inspiration and creativity, and elevated excitability. ADHD is generally treated with [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_deficit_hyperactivity_disorder_management stimulant medications]] newer non-stimulant medicines, or serotonin-norpinepherine reuptake inhibitors, depending on comorbid conditions. This medication makes cognition less chaotic, which can be frustrating for those who enjoy the buzz of constant..."colorful"...thoughts of a manic or hypomanic state.
** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Nelson Theodor Holm Nelson]], the erratic computer visionary who is sometimes called the Father of Hypertext, refers to his severe ADHD as 'butterfly mind', and has often expressed dismay at how the medicines which help keep him focused also tend to dull his innovation. He has at time gone with NoMedicationForMe only to go back on them when things start spiraling out of control. His life's work, a massive hypertext system call Xanadu, was meant in large part as a coping mechanism for this - a way to keep track of all the unruly thoughts that come and go, and e able to go back to them later and make sense out of them.
* Paul Erdős, a mathematician known for publishing more papers than any other mathematician to date and collaborating with damn near everyone in the field (to the point that the mathematicians' equivalent of the [[SixDegreesOfKevinBacon Bacon Number]] is the Erdős Number), took amphetamines. He was offered a sum of money by a friend to give up the habit for a month. He did, took the money, then went right back on amphetamines, claiming his sobriety impeded his ability to think.
-->"Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper, my mind was filled with ideas. Now, all I see is a blank piece of paper."