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Okay. Perhaps I'm the only one anal-retentive enough to notice this, but the people who post on this site seem very bright and funny. Compared to boards on other sites covering different topics, the posters on BP boards seem highly intelligent and witty. Are these common traits among people with BP? If there were a Trivial Pursuit competition, and the match-up was Bipolars VS Normal People. would the BP's totally kick ass, winning in a landslide? Seriously; is there a correlation between intelligence/wit and BP? I'm not doing very well right now, so I'd love to hear that having BP has some added perks!  ;)

Hoping to have something going for me,

Jill  :)

P.S. Is anyone else out there creative? I'm a total arts-and-crafts dork.

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I've been a smart-ass ever since I was able to talk (which took me until the age of 3, but still).  When I was 4, my mother's best friend at the time made some sort of incorrect remark, and I corrected her, and added "what a cotton-picking mind you have!"  (I guess I got the smart-assedness from watching too many Bugs Bunny cartoons, then, instead of the BP... hehehe)

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Me smart-ass too.  Big time. 

I've recently come to terms with the fact that I am a nerd.  Not a math nerd, not a science nerd, not a computer nerd.  I'm a word nerd.  A law nerd.  I specialize in obsessive analysis of facts and compulsively searching for technical ways to catch my victims in my web.

In case that worries you, I do public interest law.  I'm protecting the public against dangerous people.  So all that obsessiveness and compulsiveness is harnessed for a good cause.

But yes, I think we're smarter, funnier, and much better looking than the average bear. B)

Or maybe we just get each other's jokes? ;)

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BP is often romanticized as the creative mental illness.  Many people would beg to differ, but even inaccurate stereotypes are typically born of some kernel of truth. 

There are certainly a lot of creative BPs.  Run a Google search if you wish to see a list of fabulously creative geniuses who are supposed to have been (or be) bipolar.  I put very little stock in posthumous diagnosis, but such lists could give you a little kick of self-esteem to be in such company.  (Then again, some of the greatest American novelists have been drunkards.  Does this mean alcoholics can also feel proud to share a disease with the greats?) 

Speaking for myself, I've been told I'm intelligent by a number of people (including my entire Communications class, which filled my board with tags of 'smart,' 'intelligent,' and 'wise-minded' as descriptors of my personality).  I thus cautiously conclude that I'm right about being smart, and I'm not part of that huge chunk of the "average" population which pridefully deems itself of "above average" intelligence.  I don't know if I'll ever attain any sort of useful goal with these brains, though. 

I love arty things.  Drawing, painting, sculpting, making collages, making jewelery, sanding things to perfection... all enthrall me.  I also sing and play piano, guitar, and recorder. 

I started yelling comprehensible words around six months, and speaking in sentences by a year.  If only it were still so easy to amaze!

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I think a simple answer to this is yes. Bipolar people are often very smart, creative and funny. I don't think it means that we are more so than others though. I think it is at least partially the result of the more manicky symptoms. We get confident, pushy, and stubborn about doing what we want to do. We lack the inner critic at those times, telling us "no, you can't do that."

Obviously this isn't true for all, but I suspect it is for many.

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Well, I throw my hat into the nerd ring with an odd sense of humour.  This discussion has come up before and I have certainly noticed the high degree of over-educated individuals in my support group.  However, I've yet to see anything more than anectdotal evidence (although highly compelling).

I'd venture to guess there are some fairly average BP's too.  What eats away at me is why BP exists at all and in such a large population worldwide.  There's an argument that the existence of homosexuality averages 10% in all cultures and therefore might be a means to some form of population control on an evolutionary level.  BP also presents itself in all cultures at a certain percentage so, it must have some (or had) meaningful advantage to the overall population.  I suppose the greater liklihood of suicide adds to population control, but I don't thing that's it.  As everyone has noted, the greater majority of BPers are rather clever if not downright brilliant.

I would love to research this further.

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i find that a lot of depressed/bipolar/other mi people are highly creative, and inteligent.  i think it has something to do with the disease.  the depression makes our brain 'come alive'.

i'm bpI and while i wouldn't call myself valedictorian i do consider myself pretty smart.  naive, but smart.  i am also very creative, i love to write, and the reason i started writing was because of my depression.  i sort of thank it for helping me find that talent within me.

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Here's my take, and it doesn't just apply to people with BP:

We are a self selected group. People for whom correspondence is important enough to keep doing it even when we feel awful. Wondering if boards for people with other health problems are the same.

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Although it feels odd sometimes, I make no bones about being bright.

At work, my standard response to "Hey Info, do you know anything about ........" Is "Not yet. Why, what do you need?" followed closely by "No problem, I'll take care of it.".

I remember approaching proffessors and asking when we were going to start covering some more challenging material, only to be told that 30% of the class was currently failing the exams.

Exams that were scheduled for 2.5 hours routinely took me 40 minutes. I had one prof that used to use my tests as a key to grade the rest of the student's exams, figuring that if I missed something it must not have been taught well enough, and he would give the rest of the class a pass on the questions I missed.

I am not a creative person, nor a particularly funny one except in an irreverent sort of way. I'd say most of my ceativity revolves around problem solving.

Oh... and I sing.

Oh and as you can imagine from my screen name, I RULE at Trivial Pursuit as long as you keep me out of the Sports and Leisure section.

InfoNut

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I can't help wondering if the sharp wit, big knowledge base, quick perception of patterns, and just general sparkle aren't due as much to the high energy and accelerated mentation that goes with being manic (until it goes totally out of control) or hypomanic. Of course, there has to be something there to begin with.

One "posthumous" case where the person is fairly recent and whose moods are (partly) documented is the composer Robert Schumann. Some years ago, "Scientific American" had an article on BPD, and charted Schumann's productivity. There was an astonishingly clear periodicity to it: for a while there'd so much music that youhave to wonder how he could get it all written down, and then a period of nothing at all; then another amazingly productive period, and so on. From what we know about Schumann's emotional ups and downs, the productive periods, not surprisingly, coincided with the "high" side of his BP cycle, and the empty periods with the low.

But again,  you don't write music of that quality, in fact you don't write music at all, unless there's both the inborn talent and the right education.

My own rapid cycling experience bears this out; depressed, I do nothing; getting to my tooth brush in the morning takes half an hour, and I'm exahusted afterwards. But even mildly hypomanic, I can do twice as much work as most people, and the quality is very high. I'm quick-witted, funny, perceptive.

All of which, for what it's worth.

tom

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Skittle-

I did two bachelor's degrees in 4 years :-X (but thank goodness for AP credit [exams high schoolers in the US may take to receive credit for certain college courses {and yay brackets and parentheses}])

I'm applying to MD/PhD programs now.  What the hell I'm thinking, I'm not sure!!

(inferiority complex + hypomania = interesting results)

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I would say in the past, yes, a good writer, good grades, terribly witty, etc. But now? Pre-menopausal and taking Dopamax and Lithium? I feel as if I am an out-and-out idiot. Some days I forget where I live. I can't remember common words. I feel so much hope for the future.

I'm on disabililty waiting on social security and wonder if my future job will be part-time in a coffee shop. I am so depressed when I hear the word job. And this is coming from my Pdoc that I cannot work fulltime. I apologize for whining. I just miss my mind so much. I almost wonder if I used to have one. It really makes you want to quit these drugs so bad. I had a 3 day repreive this week waiting on the insurance to kick in and it wasn't pretty. You just don't realize how powerful these drugs are. Can't live with em, can't live without em.

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Some words against...

People on crazyboards in general are pretty smart.  Who else would come to a board based on a site with information at the quality and level of crazymeds?

The people who don't consider themselves creative probably mostly aren't posting on this thread, and the people who don't frequent this board aren't registering their creativity here. 

That said, yes, there's a link between creativity and bipolar.  It could be that a small percentage of the bipolar population is extremely creative, or a large percentage is a little more creative, or it could be a large percentage being a lot more creative.  I'd probably know which if I'd done more reading on this...I'll go and check out Kay Redfield Jamison's book on it, perhaps she has some data on the amount of creativity in the general bipolar population. 

Here's some more (googled) info on creativity and psychiatric disorders, though it doesn't answer my exact question: http://www.mddaboston.org/lect012600.html  Particularly interesting, though: "Ruth Richards did a study looking at the Danish population and everyday creativity. She found that those with no creative inklings had no connections to people with psychiatric disorders or connections to people with severe bipolar illness."  This doesn't mean, of course, that a connection will give you creativity. 

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I enjoy witty banter and subtle humor only other MI people seem to understand.

I enjoy reading but otherwise am not the artsy type- I still draw stick figures.  My

I.Q used to be quite high but has gone down since having kids and starting meds.

I think a lot of us are intelligent but I do know some not so bright BPs if ya know

what I mean.  Good topic!

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Some are, some aren't.  Bipolar disorder is a spectrum disorder and I think that is a wider analogy/comparison to intelligence and the human race in general.  There are some brilliant/creative people in the bipolar community and some in the non-MI realm too. 

I think some of us like to think we're more "smarty pants" and it's easy to believe that, if even only temporarily, because of our manias but are we? Who's to say? Do we measure by an IQ test? Even those are suspect.

It's all relative.  We all have strengths and weaknesses and something to offer to the conversation.  I don't see being bipolar as being "superior" in anyway...god, most of the time I feel my illness has hampered my "production"...or at least the depressive side of the coin.

Am I intelligent? Like lmnop I have been told so, I'm about 129 or 130 on the IQ scale.  I don't have any "gifts" or great skills...maybe the gift of the gab hehe.

Eh.  As far as I'm concerned I'm smart enough.  Hey, I've gotten this far.

Karen

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even in a phd program i was in, i was considered the intellectual. and i am smart-ass extraordinaire...BUT, i think a good deal of this is my baseline. I don't let up with the compulsive analyses and precision aestheticizing. and what have all my artistic talents done but confused me about my calling (visual, musical, dancin' fool here).

i'm not sure how much i'd attribute to bp...and i think it healthier to not give it too much credit. as others have noted, the link is romantic and so on. and in general, i'm trying not to describe too much of myself in terms of bp.

i've been to a number of bp groups and most of them were just ordinary folks trying to get their lives in order, overcoming social phobias and personal issues.

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Although it feels odd sometimes, I make no bones about being bright.

At work, my standard response to "Hey Info, do you know anything about ........" Is "Not yet. Why, what do you need?" followed closely by "No problem, I'll take care of it."

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I make some bones about being bright externally, but not inside. I know I am intelligent. The thing that gets me is how many people wander around wondering about something, with NO idea that the internet exists or has a million answers to their question. I have been the hero many times, assisted by my friend, "Google". Some of these are people who know about the internet, but have no idea what a search engine is. Am I being pompous?

Exams that were scheduled for 2.5 hours routinely took me 40 minutes. I had one prof that used to use my tests as a key to grade the rest of the student's exams, figuring that if I missed something it must not have been taught well enough, and he would give the rest of the class a pass on the questions I missed.

You were the curve-setter! Cool!

Not that I am competing or anything, but my major was psych (no jokes please). My trig prof, my philosophy prof and my French prof (totally forgot it except for crossword puzzles. Well, I also know what Pepe Le Peu says) all told me that I should change my major. That was cool. Man I was bored as heck in philosophy. But the teacher was cute, so that helped.

I have zero creativity. Zilch. Nada. But that's okay.

I try to be funny. A lot of times I only amuse myself. Mostly I am funny at my own expense. Laugh with me rather than at me! I was talking to a guy at the car dealership today about how much my van sucks and how much I hate it. I told him he must be really sick of me by now and he said that at least I made him laugh. I even made him laugh while I was crying last time they worked on my van. (They made a mistake and almost over-charged me.)

Sam

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