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Ana1234's avatar

What is the "upside" to suffering from bipolar illness?

Asked by Ana1234 (7points) July 16th, 2010

I know that being plagued with a mental illness is no easy trip, but i would like to know if despite this, and focusing solely on bipolar illness, has anyone found that the sparks of creativity brought about by manic states, have led them to feel that their initial problem ( being bipolar) can be put to good use and be also remain a source to draw from on in times that are less smooth.

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8 Answers

BoBo1946's avatar

@Ana1234 My ex. was bipolar and she was very creative!

Here is a good site where they discuss this issue!

Jabe73's avatar

From what I’ve heard the manic side can either consist of anxiety, fear, anger or extreme happiness (euphoria). Obviously the “happy” side can have good consequences.

I’m not sure however I would say there is an upside to this, maybe when compared to certain other types of mental illnesses. I would always want to be happy and not go through the extremes.

gemiwing's avatar

I have dysphoric mania, so the positive ‘spark’ of mania doesn’t do me much good. Mania is the devil’s idea of a good time; everything is too bright, too fast, too fun and eventually it will destroy you.

For me, the positives are an increased capacity to relate to other peoples’ feelings/situations, knowing I have truly had the breadth of human emotional experiences, learning about medications/treatments/therapies, being able to turn and help those who have fallen and truly understand what they are going through, knowing – with proof- that nothing lasts forever and how that is both blessing/curse.

wundayatta's avatar

I would have never come to fluther had I not been bipolar. fluther (and some other sites) provided me a way to write myself out of my illness. I think I had some skill as a writer before I got sick, but when I got sick,.... I don’t know.

At first, I thought I was looking for a lover. So I poured out my pain as honestly as I knew how. I fought for myself, even though I was, I thought, doing things that most people disapproved of. I tried to tell the story of myself so that people could see how I got to where I was.

At first, I was asking people to condemn me, because I thought I should be condemned. Later on, I wanted people to approve of me because I didn’t approve of myself and couldn’t see how I could. It seemed odd to me at the time, but they did approve. Now, I have come to accept that maybe I am someone worth the approval.

I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and one hundred times wrote. I still am, for I have discovered that it is one way for me to make something of my life that I can be proud of. It also, not insignificantly, helped me get better. Sharing my life was a kind of relief. I found others like myself. I found that the ideas flowed even faster when I wrote. I found that answering questions was the way to release my thoughts, and that sometimes I could even ask myself my own questions.

I don’t want to say that I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t gone through this. That is true for all of us. I guess what we’re saying is that we are grateful for the effect those trials had on us. I am grateful—not because I think anyone should go through this, but because that is the best way for me to make sense out of it and to make something from it.

The upside? That’s for you to create. It’s an attitude. What are you learning by dealing with this illness? What are you making of it?

I cried and I hated and I struggled and I didn’t want to do any of those things. I wanted it to be easy. I wanted people to just recognize how lovable I was and love me. I wanted to believe I could be lovable.

Oddly, I now have some of those things. I came from a place where I thought my life would be nothing but unendurable pain forever, to a place where I realize there really are many who love me. I don’t have to try so hard to be someone others might like. I can be myself (sometimes, anyway), and people will appreciate it.

I learned compassion from being sick. I learned what it is like to be depressed. I learned that I felt like I needed drama in order for my life to feel like anything was happening. I learned that my stories make other people feel less alone. I learned that I can write.

I may have had many of these things before I got sick, but I didn’t believe it or recognize it. Having to go through hell helped me appreciate these things much more.

I’ve been feeling good since the end of May. It’s the longest stretch of feeling good since I can remember. It seems like a very long time even thought it’s only been a couple of months, at most.

I feel like I could go on, because I have a lot more thoughts about it, but I’ll stop now.

Blondesjon's avatar

The ability to constantly draw attention to the fact that you have it.

I’ve found that I can achieve the same creative state with a pot of coffee, a couple of Ambien, and a bong hit.

wundayatta's avatar

Dude! You really ought to try it out. Expand your horizons. Besides which, going natural is much better. You could fry your brains on those drugs!

Blondesjon's avatar

@wundayatta . . . Yeah. There are no inherent, brain frying side effects associated with the pharmaceuticals used to treat bipolar illness.

haven’t you realized yet that i’m every bit as fucked up as you are?

wundayatta's avatar

Here’s to skillets everywhere!

What??? Say it ain’t so Jon! You’ve been my role model lo these many years and now you want to fuck it up??? Well, not so fast buster. I refuse to look. I can believe anything I want to believe!

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