Bipolar, Creativity and Mania
I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in the late 1990s during my period of homelessness. Fortunately, I was helped by Healthcare for the Homeless of Massachusetts to get back on my feet with a regime of appropriate medication. Since that time my life has stabalized considerably, but with Bipolar I think that you always have residual symptoms to some extent.
Another thing about Bipolar that is mentioned in the literature is that creativity, especially in the “manic phase,” can manifest itself. As a creative person, I enjoy the surge of creativity that accompanies the upswing, but even now, on medication, my mood can become too elevated. Sometimes I have, in the past, imposed the flow of creative ideas on others when they did not really want to hear it. Sometimes I have grown irritable and made a fool of myself by overreacting to someone’s words or actions. Therefore, I have to watch myself during the period of upswing. The creative flow is great, but the insensitivity to others that occasionally surfaces is definitely not.
I have been in a Bipolar support group, have had therapy and have a psychiatrist so I have learned a great deal about how to enjoy the creativity while not become insensitive to others. But I occasionally slip up. That’s part of Bipolar, as I view it. You are never completely cured, but you can get much better. I am thankful that I have received good help and have the support of my wife of 10 years, Linda.