Can bipolar disorder influence creativity?

May 14, 2015

Bipolar disorder is a disease featured with severe mood swings. This disease seems mostly to affect people who work with their creativity, like for instance, scientists and writers. Admittedly, bipolar disorder can also affect other people who do other jobs, but its bad effects have a particular influence just on creative people. Why? The reason of this is because creative people use the brain to create, invent and produce creative stuff, namely they use a part of the brain involved in the processes that trigger this mental illness.

Being characterized by severe mood swings that goes from a strange euphoria, called “mania”, to a deadly depression that can induce to commit suicide, bipolar disorder can influence severely the career of a writer. For these symptoms, bipolar disorder is also called manic depression. With manic depression a writer can feel up and down alternately. During the “up” moments of this disease, creativity can be strongly developed, while during the “down” moments, same creativity can be fully zeroed!

Up and down are the main features of bipolar disorder, it is like if the brain flowed in a strange state of exaltation in some moments and in a weird and unexplainable tone of despair, exhaustion and depression in other periods. There are also recent studies confirming that bipolar disorder can strengthen writing, creativity and this evidence can induce many people to refuse taking medicines to heal the disorder. What is not clear is the mechanism involved in the creative improvement.

When affected by bipolar disorder, a writer can be capable to create masterpieces during his “up” moments and can risk to leave his career during depression caused by the same disorder. I have already spoken about the relationship between depression and creativity, I have also reviewed a biographical book which tells about how a bipolar person can handle the disease to reach her achievements in life. These two pieces could be very useful to help everybody understand better other sides of this mental illness.

Yes, but what does bipolar disorder have to do with authors and writing? I guess you are wondering this while you are reading the article. Advicesbooks is, surely, a website of book reviews and book promotion, but it also is a place to deepen and explore several sides of the writing world. During the history of literature, many famous writers and novelists have suffered from bipolar disorder, among all, the most famous was Virginia Wolf. The famous British writer was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and it seems her masterpieces was written during manic episodes, namely in 1915, but she hadn’t committed suicide in 1941, her masterpieces would have been much more!

Hence, when a writer is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the best strategy to improve creativity is cure and heal the disorder. If you hope to create a masterpiece enjoying some manic episodes triggered by a mental illness, it is like you were looking for shortcuts to boost your outcomes. A good mental balance, is instead, the only one strategy capable to create good conditions for a compelling and talented writing!

Also read: Are you obsessed with your writing?

3 Comments

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