People with bipolar ii have one or more major depressive episodes lasting at least two weeks, as well as one or more mild hypomanic episodes lasting at least four days. In hypomanic episodes, people are still excitable, energetic, and impulsive. However, the symptoms are milder than those associated with manic episodes. People with cyclothymic disorder, or cyclothymia, experience hypomanic and depressive episodes for two years or longer. The mood swings tend to be less severe in this form of bipolar disorder. Though there are different types of bipolar disorder, the symptoms of hypomania, mania, and depression are similar in most people.
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There are numerous famous artists, actors, and musicians who have bipolar disorder. These include actress and singer Demi lovato, actor and kickboxer jean-Claude van Damme, and actress Catherine zeta-jones. Other famous people believed to have had bipolar disorder include painter Vincent Van Gogh, writer Virginia woolf, and musician Kurt Cobain. So what does creativity have to do with bipolar disorder? Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness that causes extreme changes in mood. Moods alternate between happy, energetic highs ( summary mania ) and sad, weary lows ( depression ). These mood swings may occur several times each week or just a couple of times a year. There are three main types of bipolar disorder. These include: Bipolar I disorder. People with bipolar I have at least one manic episode. These manic episodes may be preceded or followed by a major depressive episode, but depression isnt required for bipolar I disorder.
All mental disorders book are drab and intensely painful, and most people who suffer from one would never wish it on anyone, least of all themselves. It is also important to highlight that many creative geniuses do not have bipolar disorder and most people with bipolar disorder are not creative geniuses; thus, in logical terms, bipolar disorder is neither necessary nor sufficient for creative genius. As there are fewer people with bipolar disorder who are artists than there are artists with bipolar disorder, it seems more plausible to argue that creative genius predisposes to bipolar disorder rather than vice versa. And whilst people with bipolar disorder may be more creative than average, this may result from the fact that they are better suited and thus more attracted to careers in the arts rather than, say, in the sciences. Thus, whilst there can be little doubt that bipolar disorder and creative genius are associated, evidence of causation and of the direction of causation is still lacking. Neel Burton is author of, the meaning of Madness, heaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions, the Art of failure: The Anti self-Help guide, hide and seek: The Psychology of Self-Deception, and other books. Find neel Burton on, twitter and. Facebook, source: neel Burton. Many people living with bipolar disorder have demonstrated themselves to be highly creative.
During periods of mild mini depression people with bipolar disorder and creative people may be able to retreat inside themselves, introspect, put thoughts and feelings into perspective, eliminate irrelevant ideas, and focus on the bare essentials. Then during periods of mild elation they may be able to gather the vision, confidence, and stamina for creative expression and realization. Shifts in mood may be evidenced in the acts of creation of people with bipolar disorder. This is particularly the case, for example, in the poems of Sylvia plath or in the musical compositions of Peter Tchaikovsky (perhaps most of all in the crypto-biographical. Yet it must be stressed, first, that not all people with bipolar disorder are creative and, second, that even those who are creative tend to be at their most creative during periods of remission when symptoms are either mild or absent. . Most people with bipolar disorder who are creative say that they cannot create when they are depressed, but use depression as a source of inspiration for whatever it is that they are next going to produce; nor can they create when they are manic. Episodes of depression and mania are very difficult to live through, and in some cases can even lead to death through suicide, self-, or accident. Even highly creative and successful people with bipolar disorder such as Sylvia plath or Virginia woolf committed suicide in the end. For shredder these reasons mental disorder should not be romanticized, sought out, or left untreated simply because it might or might not increase insight and creativity.
For this reason, he feels the need to confront norms and conventions, discard the certitudes of black and white definition, and escape into a richer and more nuanced borderless grey. The freedom that he finds in this limbo enables him to enter into periods of intense and focus akin to a trance or hypomanic episode. Such periods are characterized by heightened consciousness, frenzied activity, and intense and are the hallmark of the creative process. After carrying out a detailed study of some of the most eminent personalities of the twentieth century, the psychiatrist Felix Post (19132001) postulated that the psychological discomfort that accompanies a mental disorder is in itself the principal driver of creative expression, and many artists have. As the psychiatrist Anthony Storr (1920-2001) remarked, The creative process can be a way of protecting the individual against being overwhelmed by depression, a means of regaining a sense of mastery in those who have lost it, and, to a varying extent, a way. My theory, a recent study carried out at Stanford University by santosa and colleagues found that people with bipolar disorder and creative controls scored significantly more highly than healthy controls on a measure of creativity called the barron-Welsh Art Scale. In a related study the same authors sought to identify temperamental traits that people with bipolar disorder and creative people have in common. They found that both shared tendencies for mild elation and depression with gradual shifts from one to the other, irritability, and (roughly speaking, a combination of and ). It is interesting to note that, according to this study, one of the temperamental traits that people with bipolar disorder and creative people have in common is a tendency for mild elation and depression with gradual shifts from one to the other.
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The fact that this has not happened for bonds bipolar disorder suggests that the responsible genes are being maintained despite their potentially debilitating effects on a significant proportion of the population, and thus that they must be conferring an important adaptive or evolutionary advantage. Unusually amongst mental or indeed physical illnesses, bipolar disorder is more common in higher socioeconomic groups, suggesting that the genes that predispose to bipolar disorder also predispose to greater achievement and success in the relatives of people with bipolar disorder and sometimes even in people. A prime example is kay redfield Jamison "d above who is not only a professor of but also an Honorary Professor of English. Jamison has written a number of critically acclaimed books including one called. An Unquiet Mind on her experience of suffering with bipolar disorder.
Whilst the genes responsible for bipolar disorder may lead to adaptive advantages at the individual level, they may also lead to adaptive advantages at the level of the population group. Compared to neighbouring population groups, population groups with a high proportion of creative individuals are likely to be more artistically and culturally developed, lending them a stronger sense of and purpose and tighter social cohesion. They are also likely to be more scientifically and technologically advanced, and so more economically and militarily successful. As a result of these important adaptive advantages, such population groups are more likely to survive and the genes for bipolar disorder to be maintained and propagated. Some possible explanations, source: wikicommons, for Andreasen, a creative person may be different from other people in that he is more open to experience, exploratory, risk tasking, and tolerant of ambiguity. Such traits make him see and feel and understand more, but they also make him hurt more easily and so more prone to experience suffering and dark moods. A creative person experiences the order and structure that others find comforting as inhibiting and even suffocating.
Its ugly as hell, too. The lunatic, the lover, and the poet are of imagination all compact. —Shakespeare, in the 1970s, nancy Andreasen carried out the first empirical study of and mental disorder at the University of Iowa. Andreasen studied the mental histories of a group of 30 prominent authors, expecting to find a strong correlation between creativity and schizophrenia. Although she found no history of amongst the authors, she did find an unexpectedly strong history of mood disorders: 80 per cent of her sample of authors had experienced at least one episode of major depression, hypomania, or mania, compared to only 30 per cent. Andreasen followed-up the authors for the next 15 years and found that 43 per cent of them had compared to only 10 per cent of the control group and 1 per cent of the general population.
During the 15 years of the follow-up study, two of the authors committed. For Andreasen, Issues of statistical significance pale before the clinical implications of this fact. The royal Academy Study, in 1989 the psychiatrist kay redfield Jamison (who herself suffers from bipolar disorder) surveyed 47 British authors and visual artists from the British royal Academy and found that 38 per cent had been treated for. In particular, half of the poets in her sample had needed or hospitalization. Responding to questions about the role of very intense moods in the creative process, many participants in the study reported changes in mood, (thinking and behaviour either preceding or coinciding with creative episodes. The most common such changes were increases in enthusiasm, energy, self-, speed of mental association, fluency of thoughts and elevated mood, and a strong sense of well-being. Participants also reported a noticeably decreased need for and feelings of elation, excitement, and anticipation. These features overlap closely with the clinical features of hypomania. The evolutionary argument, source: wikicommons for potentially debilitating disorders such as bipolar disorder usually pass out of the population over time because affected people have fewer children.
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Sometimes mania is anger and madness and irritation. Lashing out at your loved ones, screaming at the top of your lungs. Picking apart your significant other and projecting everything you hate about yourself onto them. Talking too much and getting frustrated for thinking faster than you can express yourself. Feeling like youre crawling out of your skin and your nervous system is working against you. Your fingertips are paper on fire. Your throat is dry from yelling. Its not magical, its not euphoric. Mania isnt always a blessing.
Major depression is unipolar depression, meaning one. One side of make the spectrum. Its diagnosis is based on the singular presence of depression, and nothing else. You quite literally cannot. Mania is not always positive. Mania is not always euphoric. Not everything about mania is sunshine and euphoria and uncontainable happiness.
Were hardly random or without purpose. You cannot have bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder simultaneously. No psychiatrist will ever diagnose someone with having both bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. According to the dsm-5, the very presence of bipolar disorder means to experience periods of depression and mania/hypomania. Mania is the cardinal symptom of bipolar disorder. Without the mania, it would be considered major depressive disorder.
How do we approach a piece with blatant stereotypes and stigmatizations thats being shared in a society that already invalidates our illnesses? Personally, i can only provide insight into the reality of living with bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression, which some writers still use). Im not familiar with any other mental illness on an intimate level, so Ill leave the clarification of those up to the people with experience. But, without further ado, here are 3 things about bipolar disorder that writers always seem to write wrong: Bipolar disorder is not just some erratic, random dialouge. E — im feeling so creative, omg yeah we should totally writook and turn it intovie and oh wait — i should go shopping and make toast because im hungry and actually nate myself why woulo any of that?! Come on, thats a little dramatic, dont you think? Racing thoughts are a significant symptom of bipolar disorder, and yes, they can be disorganized and messy. They often do reflect a rapid shift in our moods. But presentation it doesnt go from writing books to making food to hating ourselves in the same sentence.
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If youve been diagnosed with a mental illness and your creative outlet is writing, i bet you frequent the biography and memoir sections of bookstores, compulsively scanning the titles for appearances of your specific disorder. At the very least, Im sure most of us are naturally drawn to the stories and pieces we find here on Medium that highlight or discuss our illnesses in relatable ways. We online find solace in peering through the creative window of another persons mind where we realize, some of their truths look a lot like our own. Its pretty human to find comfort in situations we know we share with other people. Like when you have a complex feeling that youre finding hard to describe so you fumble your way through an explanation and someone else screams yes! I know exactly what you mean before you even finish. The notion that we are not alone, especially in the dark caverns of our mind, can be imperative enough to anchor a suffering individual to reality. But what do we do when the very words that were meant to connect us end up confusing us instead?