Like Nerd??

Dr. David Weeks, a clinical neuropsychologist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, realised that eccentricity had been largely ignored by psychiatry and psychology, so he researched it himself and in 1995 published his findings in a book entitled "Eccentrics: a Study of Sanity and Strangeness."

Dr. Weeks and his team studied more than 1000 eccentrics, mainly from Great Britain and the United States. He found they were more creative, had more curiosity about the world and in many cases, were contentedly obsessed by hobbies and interests.

In addition, although it was not a quality he felt could be scientifically measured, he found eccentrics to be happier than the bulk of the general public.

Dr. Simon Siew, a psychiatrist at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre in Singapore agrees, he says, "Eccentric people do not follow conventions, they live in a world of their own and do not worry about what others think of them. So they are usually less restricted and therefore possibly happier."

Eccentrics are also healthier, they visit their doctors less - about once in eight to nine years - which is 20 times less than the average person. This could be partly due to their inate traits such as humour and happiness which are known to boost the immune system.

"It is possible for eccentrics to be healthier as they are likely to be less stressed," says Dr. Siew.

We should have suspected it of those who do not conform - so your aunt Margaret's crazy hobby and strange sense of humour is what's keeping her going. Embrace your eccentricities, you may be kooky but at least you'll be happier and healthier than most.


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