Yesterday I read an account of the life of John von Neumann, one of the leading mathematicians of the XX century. He was part of the Manhattan Project and has been widely recognized as the main founder of what today is known as Game theory.
The Manhattan Project reunited an important number of leading scientists and it happened to be that many of them were hungarians. Von Neumann was a hungarian jewish who had to exile to the US when nazis went into power. Asked by the coincidence of so many hungarian top-level minds at the same location, in Los Alamos, von Neumann answered it could be explained by "the need to make extraordinary accomplishments to avoid being extinguished".
I think this is a major factor in the lifes of many extraordinary creative people. Sometimes the constraint factor can lead to insanity or extravaganza, as I have sometimes discussed this with Trevor. But other times it is the only way to survival. In this case, not only survival is enough, but it is the element that makes sense the whole experience of the person.