Bipolar and Creativity

Throughout the ages, many famous artists of all kinds have also battled mental illness. I found a very interesting article I recommend reading about it,

Here’s an excerpt; “

Is there a link between bipolar disorder and creativity?

There may now be a scientific explanation as to why many creative people have bipolar disorder. Several recent studies have showed that people who are genetically predisposed to bipolar disorder are more likely than others to show high levels of creativity, particularly in artistic fields where strong verbal skills are helpful.

In one study from 2015, researchers took the IQ of almost 2,000 8-year-old children, and then assessed them at ages 22 or 23 for manic traits. They found that high childhood IQ was linked with symptoms of bipolar disorder later in life. For this reason, the researchers believe the genetic features associated with bipolar disorder can be helpful in the sense that they also may produce beneficial traits.

Other researchers have also found a connection between genetics, bipolar disorder, and creativity. In another study in 2015Trusted Source, researchers analyzed the DNA of more than 86,000 people to look for genes that increase the risks of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. They also noted whether the individuals worked in or were associated with creative fields, such as dancing, acting, music, and writing. They found that creative individuals are up to 25 percent more likely than noncreative people to carry genes that are associated with bipolar and schizophrenia.

Not all people with bipolar disorder are creative, and not all creative people have bipolar disorder. However, there does appear to be a connection between the genes that lead to bipolar disorder and a person’s creativity.

Here’s a link to the article to read all of it:

https://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/famous-creative-people

I’m also including some of my own original artwork.

If you’re bipolar and are also creative, what’s your outlet?

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Manic Shopping Sprees

This symptom, spending an excess of money, during a manic or hypomanic episode can be associated with the poor judgement evident during a bipolar episode. All self control goes out the window and I find that I experience shopping “phases”. Each phase reflects my current obsession or interest. For example, when I was in bed most of the time for about 5 years, I spent a lot of money on craft supplies, journal’s and books to help me pass countless hours making art, reading or writing.

Sometimes I go on a book spending spree. I have literally filled my bookshelf and need another one if I don’t stop buying physical books. I’m transitioning to ebooks so I can borrow books from the library and have access to hundreds of free classics in the Apple book store.

Even medicated, I have to try and exercise self control to stop spending money. Now that I’m physically. getting better and getting out of bed daily, I found myself consumed with desire to buy clothes and shoes. I bought a handful of VERY reasonably priced dresses at Ross and splurged on some accessories.

I also have to admit that I was raised by two shopaholics. We went shopping EVERY weekend of my childhood. So, I have a shopping problem period, that intensifies when I cycle.

So what do I do about this problem? First of all I pay ALL my bills when when I get my social security. I also give money and credit cards to a trusted family hold for me when I know I need help financially and have to be frugal.

Why It’s Important To Take Care of Yourself First

Taking care of yourself is essential to maintain bipolar stability. This post list fives ways you can do better. | #MentalHealth #MentalIllness #…

Why It’s Important To Take Care of Yourself First

Highly recommend reading this excellent, brilliant article.

Manic Remorse

When a person with bipolar has a manic or a hypomanic episode, in my experience, judgement becomes impaired and the individual is in danger of making some very bad decisions that end up hurting their loved ones and perhaps themselves as well.

One common side effect of mania/hypomania is extreme irritability which can lead to angry outbursts, fights, screaming, cursing or causing a scene in public. I personally have been through this so much and almost destroyed my marriage during my last cycle. I can be cold, cruel and so hurtful that I leave wounds in the ones I love. After the episode is over, I become full of remorse, shame and apologies. The remorse and guilt I feel afterwards is overwhelming and sometimes it takes quite sometime to gain forgiveness and trust back from my loved ones. When I am manic and cruel, it is truly NOT me talking and fighting, it’s my illness talking. I’m usually a loving, caring and understanding person but when I’m manic I feel like a dark, hidden evil side of me emerges that is disliked by all.

The cruel things I say or do when I’m unstable I don’t truly mean and it’s a challenge to get others to believe that once I’m stable again. So, I become filled with that shame and remorse and try to hard to earn forgiveness from the people I hurt with my cruelty. There have been times when it takes a couple of months to smooth things out with my husband who unfortunately frequently becomes my “target “ for my rage when I’m manic. No marriage is easy but being married to somebody who is mentally I’ll is especially challenging.

I’ve always been a bookworm and a writer and I’ve found that writing long loving emails expressing my feelings and remorse and explaining that I didn’t even mean any of the horrible things I’ve said or done is helpful. Talking about it helps immensely also.

I used to consider my anxiety disorder and bipolar illness my best kept secrets. Only my family and a handful of friends know I struggle with mental illness. Writing this blog is my way of erasing the shame and embarrassment I had about being mentally ill. Now, I’m literally sharing it with the world for a few reasons.

Number one, I have finally realized that being mentally ill is nothing to be ashamed of. There is already such a stigma about it, and by sharing my story with the world I hope to inspire and help others who suffer from anxiety and bipolar (or any mental illness) and encourage others to be open about their illness.

Number two, I hope to offer comfort to others fighting the same battles I do. If I can survive and learn different ways to help stabilize myself, so can my readers.

Number three, I want to personally support any of my readers who choose to share any of their experiences and emotions by commenting on my posts. I will reply to every single one.

You are not alone! How do you handle the remorse you feel after a cycle? I could love to hear from YOU. I want this blog to be a safe place for nonjudgmental and encouraging dialogue.