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Does BP make you a more creative person?


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Just curious:  Are you a creative person?  For me, I have a million different creative outets (that I don't use to the best of my abilities b/c I lie in bed with depression too much).  I write, sew (design my own clothes for self and others), try to learn guitar, draw (poorly, but I do) and take photographs. 

Kay Redfield Jameson wrote a book about the famous creative people who were depressives or BP (as she is) called "Touched by Fire".  It seems like there's a connection.

What do you think?

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I've been creative all my life - and I've been bipolar all my life. My boyfriend is BP and he's creative also. But it would be hard to say that there is a definite connection - sometimes you can find connections when you're looking for them, but it doesn't mean there is any scientific basis for it.

I am so glad I'm creative, though. Without my talents, I would feel utterly worthless. Well, sometimes I still feel utterly worthless, but it does help to see that I brought some art into the world when I was feeling up.

Also, there is something highly theraputic/relaxing about the act of painting, drawing, playing an instrument, writing, etc. I get lost in these activities, they take me to a place where I'm not aware of time or outside pressures - and, as I said, the finished products help me feel like I can contribute something worthwhile to society.

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Here's a study that shows that children of bipolar parents show a higher affinity towards creativity:

http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/40/22/23

I agree with Dr. Jean M. Bradt, author of the website www.willigocrazy.org, that bipolar disorder isn't really a DISORDER, but a "complex". She asserts that we have various characteristics, such as depth, passion, creativity, and a tendency towards highs and lows that make up who we are. She says these are intertwined. When we are experiencing an episode, that is Bipolar Affective Disorder, and that is when we are sick. We are NOT sick when not experiencing an episode, we are in remission at that point. But we are always creative, passionate, and we see things everyone else misses.

So yes, I believe that by virtue of being bipolar that we are *usually* much more creative (and in-depth, and insightful...) than "normal" people. To me, BP is a blessing and curse. I think many of us feel the same.

loon

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HIGHLY creative. I truly feel that if I can't create, I'd go crazy, in the literal sense of the word. I'm in my studio 40 hours a week. When I'm up - hypomanic/manic - man, the ideas are flying fast and furious. I get extremely frustrated that I can't finish one project before having to start the next. And I indeed feel like I MUST start something new continually. Depression, of course, is hell on creativity.

I worried that the medications would take this away. And while I was going through adjustments, I think it did. But I'm back at it now... or maybe just headed for the up cycle again, who knows. I'm not wasting time....  ;)

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Heya,

No.  Not me.

I wonder actually if it's like (here's me with biology again, sorry folks) the case with malaria and sickle cell.

People with *one* gene for sickle cell don't get sickle cell, but they *are* resistant to malaria.

People with *two* genes for sickle cell get sickle cell, which can kill, but *also* don't get malaria.

Not that BP is that simple.

But I wonder if *partial* BP tendency leads to creativity without BP, where BP might involve (for some) Hell on Earth, with or without creativity.

For me, I've been more "creative," whatever *that* is, since treatment, but still not so much.

--ncc--

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I was extremely creative when I was younger, I seem to have drifted away from that a bit with age.  Also, I don't currently have access to a piano so much of the music that strikes me stays in my head.

I find that since I have been getting treatment my ability to create is coming back to me.  I'm composing bits of poetry and might start to draw again.  I've been playing my flute and saxophone more frequently too.  Of course, I'm only working right now and not going to school so I have more time.

I've always been creative, emotional and able to see connections between thoughts/ideas that aren't readily apparent to others.  I worry that those abilities will disappear with my medications.  I really need those abilities to help me continue to feel good about myself during this transitional period where I feel slow and scatterbrained.  Honestly, with all of the med changes lately I feel like someone lopped 20 points from my IQ.

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I thought I was pretty creative when I was untreated, and when I was young that may have been true.  It's hard to say, because I was doing so much booze and drugs to cope with BP that my memories are a little twisted.  But before treatment for BP, I was usually blocked up and too anxious to imagine anything new.  I'm far more creative now than I was before.  Just goes to show that YMMV.

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I've been called an amazingly talented photographer, a creative canvas artist, and a brilliant researcher by some.

Then again, others have told me that I should stay the hell away from pencils, pens, paints, and anything that physically can impress an image, and equally to stay away from any scientific laboratory.

Yay for Verehrt und Angespeien, aka my entire life. =P

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I've never been your standard creative person. But lots of people in my family (without MI) are very good photographers. Some even has it a a job.

But my mom's side of the family... (Where the MI come from) Nah...

But I'm actually starting to get in touch with my creative side by painting. Mostly charcoal. Mostly because it's fun, but sometimes it turns out really good too.

So I don't think all BP's are creative, but maybe if we got a bit more in touch with that side of ourselves we would have more passion for it than other people? Who knows...

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yeah, I think that fooling around with paints or cameras or sewing or whatever can help quiet the mind.  If you have something to think on that takes up all your mental energy or at least to focus on, you make yourself less anxious.  So maybe that's the source of the creativity.  Plus, *I* believe that we, with our struggles a little more intuitive and able to see others who are struggling a little quicker.  Or maybe that's just me. 

Still though, when I'm really depressed, I can't do a thing.  *If* I can force it, it does help, but it's waaaaay hard.

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I think that everyone has the potential for creativity. I suspect that for people with bipolar disorders, it may be easier to get in touch with that potential. As we grow up, our brains get filled up with so much "Oh I can't," and "I'm no good at that." stuff that we turn off our creative energy for fear that we'll be rejected in one way or another for our endeavors. Many people with bipolar have a bittersweet kind of deal going on. Yeah, we're nuts and it sucks, BUT, we have moments where we can do ANYTHING. I think that most often, creativity is appreciated.. even if it's "less than perfect." Every time we are accepted and appreciated for our creativity, it builds up confidence.

So... people with bipolar disorders might be more willing to take creative risks because at times we lack fear of rejection. As those risks are rewarded with positive feedback, we feel more and more comfortable taking those risks without the influence of mania or hypomania.

Also, I totally just pulled all that out of my butt. It at least sounds plausible, though... right?

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"A survey conducted by psychologists from Newcastle University and the Open University (both in the UK) suggests that creative people share several key traits with schizophrenia sufferers. The most sensationalist outcome of the study is evidence that artistic people are twice as sexually active as the norm.

However, the study makes the serious point that the inclusion of schizophrenia traits within the artistic personality, and the corresponding genetic pattern, may explain why the full-blown disease persists despite the evolutionary argument that schizophrenia's negative impact on relationships and reproduction would eliminate the disease from the gene pool."

http://www.sciam.com/print_version.cfm?art...74083414B7F4945

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