Mitsu of SyntheticZero
February 3, 2002 4:22 PM   Subscribe

Mitsu of SyntheticZero has started what might become a series of posts related to creativity and depression.
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  • posted by giantkicks (21 comments total)
    It really is true that bipolars are some of the smartest most creative people you will ever meet...a support forum I frequent is filled with great folks that fit the above criteria.

    But bipolar disorder, no matter what kind you have (there are several types varying in severity) is nothing you would ever, ever want to have....
    Trust me.
    If you have ever seen me make an ass of myself here (and you have) now you know why.
    posted by bunnyfire at 5:21 PM on February 3, 2002

    Creativity is a double-edged sword. When you're creative you feel as high as a kite, but when you're not it's one of the most frusterating things in the world. There's nothing you can do to get over the "block" and it literally drives some people mad.
    posted by geoff. at 6:26 PM on February 3, 2002

    Some people are fortunate to rarely, if ever, encounter the sense of loss that comes when you can't access your creative side. What kind of black irony is it that a key ingredient of your personal make-up hibernates/withdraws for long periods of time; sometimes weeks, months, years even. Are there any comparable experiences for other types of personalities. Do intellectual people suffer long bouts of blocked thinking?
    posted by giantkicks at 10:27 PM on February 3, 2002

    As a baby psychologist (I'm not really trained, working on it. Not a psychologist of babies.) I've actually read some stuff about manic-depression and creativity. While I can't remember if artists tended to be manic-depressive more often, I do remember something about the output.

    Basically, the quality of the output is always the same, but when people are manic they put out more than when they are depressed.

    And there are mild forms of manic-depression. There are at least two or three kinds, two of which is basically mild and very mild cases of manic-depression, and one which is essentially a mild but stable case of being manic. They just don't get depressed.

    The thing that always bothered me most about manic-depression, is it gets worse the longer you have it. It always gets worse, and worse. I fear for those poor people who could not or will not get help. Because their lives can become hell very fast.
    posted by stoneegg21 at 11:29 PM on February 3, 2002

    An article and a web project on the subject of manic depression and creativity.
    posted by walrus at 3:01 AM on February 4, 2002

    Kay Redfield Jamison wrote an entire book on this subject....i own the darn thing and can't think of the title...l
    posted by bunnyfire at 3:23 AM on February 4, 2002

    Ok, I'm back. The book is called Touched With Fire.
    I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the topic.
    posted by bunnyfire at 3:25 AM on February 4, 2002

    Oh, and stone egg, it's BIPOLAR now, is no longer pc to call us manic-depressives...but you sure wouldn't know it from the media, so no offence taken.
    posted by bunnyfire at 3:28 AM on February 4, 2002

    The emergence of a 9-5 "workweek" as a social norm means that those who are mildly manic about their work become highly prized employees, while the consistent plodders are considered models of mental health. I suspect humans were designed to have a variety of temperaments and a variety of paces of life. There's room in nature for both the sloth and the hummingbird, and for inconsistent performers like the bear, who tends to give up and retreat for the entire winter. Thanks for the articles and links!
    posted by sheauga at 6:58 AM on February 4, 2002

    Excellent links, thank you. I am bipolar or whatever you want it called currently, and now I shall go away and study these links. It's my quiet time you see...I do this a lot
    (from one of the articles linked) > the willingness to spend long times thinking, with a definite possibility that you come out with nothing.".
    posted by bittennails at 7:51 AM on February 4, 2002

    there was a write-up on everything2 recently about psychological theories of creativity.
    posted by kliuless at 8:18 AM on February 4, 2002

    Hey, interesting links (this is Mitsu from SyntheticZero). I find this whole subject fascinating. One of my favorite people, an incredibly brilliant woman, is bipolar and very creative at the same time. She treats herself with SSRIs (Paxil). It mostly works.

    There must be a reason bipolar disorder evolved... and a reason more intelligent and creative people have it than average.
    posted by mitsu at 2:04 AM on February 5, 2002

    There must be a reason bipolar disorder evolved... and a reason more intelligent and creative people have it than average.

    And/or one is symptomatic of. . .
    And/or one begets the other. . .
    And/or they are equal case-in-points of the other's existence. . .
    posted by crasspastor at 2:21 AM on February 5, 2002

    mitsu, I sure hope your friend is taking more than just paxil.

    if she isn't, then her doc is either pretty incredibly incompetent or she isn't bipolar. (either scenario is actually quite possible). A third possibility would be a misdiagnosis, but you already say she is a beeper.

    Hopefully there is something else like depakote or topomax or lithium or trileptal or lamictal or etc etc to keep her brain from pinging off the walls.

    If not- well it will catch up to her. maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow....but eventually.....

    i'm the voice of experience on that one.
    posted by bunnyfire at 3:34 AM on February 5, 2002

    i also remember this slashdot thread from awhile back.
    posted by kliuless at 7:31 AM on February 5, 2002

    Treating bipolars with anti-depressants has a tendency to bring on manic episodes. Its common, but it does not always happen.

    Some mild forms of bipolar can be treated with anti-ds alone; you don't need mood stabilizers. The manias are mild enough to handle; its only the depressions that are a problem. I know a couple people like this. I'm like this, but I have terrible manic reactions to anti-depressants (I take topomax).

    So mitsu's friend could very well be bipolar and be taking paxil without a problem, and not have an incompetent doctor. Your Disorder May Vary.
    posted by mourning-glory at 12:57 PM on February 5, 2002

    Mourning -glory, according to Harvard researchers, that is a train wreck ready to happen. (google away-you will find the research easily.)

    I have searched the web from one side to the other, and again, i am a bp II, and i have NEVER heard of a bipolar treated with an unopposed antidepressant being recommended as any kind of standard treatment. I have only seen it condemned-and frankly many doctors are very cautious when they prescribe them to us in conjuntion with the stabilisers....
    posted by bunnyfire at 3:33 PM on February 5, 2002

    Now that I read your comments I've done some research... I don't know if she is taking a mood stabilizer. Paxil is one of the SSRIs that is known to have a lesser chance of causing a manic episode, however, according to the Harvard research. According to this page, Paxil caused manic episodes in just over 2% of the cases. The Harvard research indicates the main thing they are concerned about vis a vis unopposed SSRIs is the chance that they will trigger a manic episode, so perhaps her doctor feels a 2% risk is reasonable.

    I will ask her about the mood stabilizer issue, however, since the Harvard page indicates that it is better at preventing a recurrence of depression than taking SSRIs.
    posted by mitsu at 7:53 PM on February 5, 2002

    Tell her to try topamax if not. That is what i of the nice side effects is weight loss-which is the opposite effect of many of the meds out there..... :-)
    posted by bunnyfire at 3:50 AM on February 6, 2002

    Not to trivialize, but do some serious exercize.
    posted by ParisParamus at 4:21 AM on February 6, 2002

    I've read that also (about the exercise)... I'll pass that along, bunnyfire, thanks.
    posted by mitsu at 10:50 AM on February 6, 2002

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