“There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness [bipolar disorder].
“When you’re high it’s tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones.”
Psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison – in her article What it is like to be a bipolar
People with “significant” mental health challenges are often treated with medication – and many benefit from that treatment – but some people think medication “takes away” their creativity.
The following is from a personal story of another person with bipolar disorder. Though written anonymously, it seems to be truthful.
“My high school experiences were marked by excellence in academics and in sports. I was Valedictorian of my class and I amassed a record of 42 wins and seven losses in dual meet competition in wrestling. I was very competitive both in academics and in sports….
“There were no precursors of my bipolar personality, although my aunt is bipolar and my father is unipolar depressed. It was triggered by major insights in plate tectonics. Shortly after I made these discoveries, my academic friends noticed a change in my personality. They said that I had become a ‘biggee’ i.e., they recognized that I was rapidly stepping into grandiosity.
“As the mania stepped in, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I threw up and the racing of thoughts was mirrored by a racing of my libido, something Kay Redfield Jamieson alludes to.
“After my first episode, I fought the medication because I liked my creativity and I didn’t care that my behaviour took a real toll on my family.
“Twice I went swimming in 50-degree water fully clothed because my demons were out of control. Then I learned that cold water is a primitive form of shock therapy. When I got out, a warm shower allowed me to return to normalcy, at least for an hour or so and then the demons reappeared.
“One of the characteristics of the delusional phases is that I looked for signs, omens and portents in everything. For example, when I had delusions of being very important, I ordered God to destroy the house above ours with a tornado. I shouted at the sky, “Get that house out of here. Get it out now!” Now for the amusing part. A few years later I moved into a house that had been hit by a tornado!”
> Continued in article: Recollections of a Journey Through a Psychotic Episode: Or, Mental Illness and Creativity Anonymous [by Anonymous] – on the Mens Sana Monographs site
“There isn’t just one way to think about mental health. Today adults and children in distress are presented with a single picture: that they have some “mental disorder” requiring “medical treatment.”
“In this groundbreaking symposium, top experts from around the world challenge this paradigm, present alternatives, and provide you with the tools you need to live a healthier life.”
Eric Maisel interviews 15 experts from around the world. – FREE during live presentations starting Feb 23 2015 [recordings available].