In developing his book “The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (A Little) Craziness and (A Lot of) Success in America”, John D. Gartner, Ph.D. [of Johns Hopkins University Medical School] created a list of hypomanic traits he had synthesized from the psychiatric literature, as typical of an entrepreneur:
“..filled with energy… flooded with ideas… driven, restless, and unable to keep still… often works on little sleep… feels brilliant, special, chosen, perhaps even destined to change the world… can be euphoric… becomes easily irritated by minor obstacles… is a risk taker… overspends in both his business and personal life… acts out sexually… sometimes acts impulsively, with poor judgment, in ways that can have painful consequences… is fast-talking… is witty and gregarious… His confidence can make him charismatic and persuasive…”
The list has intriguing parallels with psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski’s concept of OE [overexcitabilities / excitabilities] – for example, Elizabeth Mika’s article Theory of Positive Disintegration as a Model of Personality Development For Exceptional Individuals includes a description of Psychomotor OE – “an excess of energy manifesting in rapid talk, restlessness, preference for violent games, sports, pressure for action, or delinquent behavior..”
In his book, Gartner celebrates a number of entrepreneurs [e.g. movie moguls] whose success and contributions to the culture may be attributed to a great extent to their hypomanic attributes.
Thomas Edison was “another great hypomanic American… an inexhaustible furnace of ideas… He often didn’t sleep until he passed out on the floor after working forty-eight hours straight.” [from book The Hypomanic Edge; image from Apple “Think Different” ad]
A more contemporary example of the daring of hypomania might be Salma Hayek, actor and producer of “Ugly Betty.” In her teens, she hitchhiked from Greece to France, solo.