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Question
Posted by: Jeff | 2012-03-12

Bipolar and creativity

Hi prof

I have been diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder 6 months ago and despite being on AD''s, risperdal and mood stabilisers I find it difficult to cope with the symptoms a lot of the time. What I find most alarming is that my creativity and motivation has diminished and that I swing between two states of feeling depressed and anxious and another state where I feel a chemically induced complacency like that Pink Floyd song " comfortably numb" . When I do feel creative it is almost as if my brain is using all of my creative energy against me in an implosive and self-destructive manner rather than in a constructive and positive way. Since I am required to do a job where creativity is essential (I am a graphic designer) I am concerned about all of this. Could one lay the blame for this lack of creative drive with the meds or is it because of the illness that is perhaps not yet under control?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Bipolar is a really complex disorder, and varies significantly between people, and it may take some time to find the right combination of meds to control the symptoms. This is why it is essential to see a good local psychiatrist for a thorough assessment and to confirm the diagnosis, and for the psychiatrist to recommend treatments, explain them, monitor them, a nd to be prepared to modify them in the light of how they affect you.
But you raise extra and interesting issues. Being a high creative person myself, I have over the years worked with many actors, singers, authors, and so on, with Bipolar and related disorder. yes, iot is difficult. Often they are reluctant to bring a manic phase down, because they feel so creative when on a high. The problem very often is, though, that it's often remarkably unproductive pseudo-creativity, that their thinking when high darts around so energetically between ideas that few if any come to actual fruition.
So untreated or uncontrolled Bipolar is usually much more damaging to one's effective creative output, and one must just see that the shrink is aware of the centrality of creativity in your work, to seek to bring mood swings under better control, so you vibrate around the median, rather than swinging to unproductive extremes.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-03-12

Bipolar is a really complex disorder, and varies significantly between people, and it may take some time to find the right combination of meds to control the symptoms. This is why it is essential to see a good local psychiatrist for a thorough assessment and to confirm the diagnosis, and for the psychiatrist to recommend treatments, explain them, monitor them, a nd to be prepared to modify them in the light of how they affect you.
But you raise extra and interesting issues. Being a high creative person myself, I have over the years worked with many actors, singers, authors, and so on, with Bipolar and related disorder. yes, iot is difficult. Often they are reluctant to bring a manic phase down, because they feel so creative when on a high. The problem very often is, though, that it's often remarkably unproductive pseudo-creativity, that their thinking when high darts around so energetically between ideas that few if any come to actual fruition.
So untreated or uncontrolled Bipolar is usually much more damaging to one's effective creative output, and one must just see that the shrink is aware of the centrality of creativity in your work, to seek to bring mood swings under better control, so you vibrate around the median, rather than swinging to unproductive extremes.

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