Sadegh Hedayat from the "Descriptive Psychiatry" View-Point


Farbod Fadai 1 , *

1 Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

How to Cite: Fadai F. Sadegh Hedayat from the "Descriptive Psychiatry" View-Point, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2009 ; 3(1):19-26.


Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: 3 (1); 19-26
Published Online: June 30, 2009
Article Type: Original Article
Received: March 27, 2008
Accepted: March 05, 2009


Objective: With regard to the abundance of mood disorders among the artists and, life and death of Hedayat, number and time of creation of his works, this hypothesis that Hedayat suffered from a bipolar mood disorder (type II, or bipolar spectrum) is studied in the descriptive psychiatry framework.

Methods: His biographies, medical records, letters exchanged between him and his friends and relatives, and reports by his acquaintances, number and time of creation, form and structure (but not the content of his writings) are scrutinized, assessed and measured according to the strict criteria of contemporary descriptive psychiatry.

Results: It was shown that besides full blown depressive episodes and two documented attempted suicides (1928 and 1951, the second one led to his death), Hedayat was generally known as a jovial, humorist, lively, and exaggeratedly generous man. It was found out that the rate of creation of his 66 literary works did not follow a steady or monotonous course. Instead, during hypomanic phases he wrote abundantly, but during depressive phases he had no literary creation. In times between, when in a normal mood, he wrote one or two stories in a year. In the three years preceding his completed suicide (1951), he did not write at all and even tore the manuscripts of his unpublished works to pieces some days before suicide.

Conclusion: The above findings are all consistent with this conclusion that Sadegh Hedayat suffered from the bipolar mood disorder, type II.


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