Bipolar disorder defined my life as much as a wheelchair. Like so many others blessed by the curse of bipolar disorder, a.k.a. manic depression, prescription drugs did not help but left me feeling like my mind had been hijacked and was pulling me deeper into a depression spiked with bright memories. I thought bouncing between Mania and Depression was my way of life. Then I found a way to ride the dragon of a manic episode. With the compelling combination of Mania and the Muse, I bonded bipolar disorder and Creativity.
The writing program I completed revealed a unique benefit of being bipolar. It was a practical tool that brought understanding, acceptance, and finally, a published novel. My author’s journey was filled with practical examples of how a disciplined approach to writing can change some of the curses of being bipolar into blessings. Writing and symptoms combined for positive results. Those positives were a less manic means of communication, a much-needed routine, a sense of purpose and creative release.
The writing program included a daily word count, techniques to focus the mind and methods of emotional release. Those components fostered mental discipline and emotional stamina. The simple act of daily writing brought continuity and a sense of purpose to my life. A life troubled by this misunderstood disorder. The beliefs I expressed, and emotions I experienced unearthed the elusive core of my bipolar existence, revealing a hidden pattern in a manic world. Mania, when suppressed, is a denial of self. When unleashed it is a powerhouse of creation. That is the beauty of bipolar disorder and Creativity.
Seven million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder. An estimated three million cases are severe. In severe cases, bipolar disorder can fragment one’s life and destroy any hope of doing useful work or having a meaningful relationship. A partial list of authors and creative individuals with bipolar disorder includes Ted Turner, Virginia Woolf, Ludwig van Beethoven, Winston Churchill, Jimmy Peirsol, and Ernest Hemingway.