Why is megalomania a part of schizophrenia, the latter having to do with personality splits, as opposed to being a disorder of its own. According to Polya's book, thinking big is one of the thinking techniques that makes you good at mathematics, so, by this argument, every mathematician would be a megalomaniac.

But schizophrenia has nothing to do with it, because it can be looked at as a separate, possibly related problem. Find more inspiration in Polya's book.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just want to point-out that schizophrenia is not a "personality" splits, rather more to "reality" splits (if you want to call it a split). Split-personality is what popularly known as multiple-personality-disorder. $\endgroup$ – Nono Aug 8 '16 at 5:01
  • $\begingroup$ People who travel develop different points of view:as the find themselves forced to sustain different ideas and opinions about things depending on where they are and who they are around. As such individuals develop they learn how to leverage this capability. Mathematicians are also capable of addressing different realities at the same time by thinking in terms of mathematical models. Any problem at hand can be modeled differently, and often such models have little in common other than that they are addressing the same question. $\endgroup$ – Jack Maddington Aug 10 '16 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ One can then think in terms of the more practical ones as appropriate, perhaps even subconsciously. $\endgroup$ – Jack Maddington Aug 10 '16 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ I do not understand multiple-personality disorder. What would be the criteria to seeing a personality as "one", or more than one? $\endgroup$ – Jack Maddington Aug 10 '16 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ The wikipedia article might help as a starting point if you're interested in multiple personality disorder. Check to DSM for more details in the diagnosis. There's been many research and studies related to it. $\endgroup$ – Nono Aug 11 '16 at 10:17

Schizophrenia symptoms vary widely from patient to patient. Only a subgroup of schizophrenics experience grandiose delusion. According to one school of thought, humanistic psychotherapy, individuals have different degrees of congruence between the self and the ideal self, with consequences for self-realization. If one thinks to much of one self, one risks not to develop as a person as one is satisfied. enter image description here

However, in Logos therapy, the view is that one should think better of oneself in order that one dares to approach situations that one would have not dared to approach otherwise, according to Viktor Frankl, thereby opening up to new experiences. A different advice applies to people with perhaps the most realistic worldview: patients with depression are perhaps aligned with their self-image, but their low sense of self-worth reduces their ability to take action.

When the images do not match the objective "self" either depression or megalomania could result.

Some mathematicians also have schizophrenia - a famous example being John Forbes Nash Jr. whose life was portrayed in A Beautiful Mind. That is why I do not see how your observation is necessarily controversial. Being able to think outside the box requires some distance to reality. Some studies have suggested a link between creativity and schizophrenia. Nevertheless, it is important to note that creativity without constraints has no real application in life, other than perhaps art.

Some of the most creative artists choose a specific formula, so that they can restrict their thoughts. For example, Bach chose to write fugues. He could have written only fantasias instead, but for a creative person this is not as challenging as the logic of a fugue. Mathematicians are very structured and write proofs.

Recommended reading:


(By the way, if you wish to recommend a book, adding a title or a link helps others to find it. :-)

  • $\begingroup$ I would agree that a depressed state as you describe it can progress through a state of megalomania through reinforcement and encouragement from positive people around you. $\endgroup$ – Jack Maddington Aug 6 '16 at 20:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The book I referenced is How To Solve It by George Polya. I've actually read a former edition of the book but think this one might prove even more helpful with its updates. Good reading. :-) $\endgroup$ – Jack Maddington Aug 6 '16 at 20:58

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.