Friday, October 12, 2007

And They Created

Would you call me creative? I created two sons. I built a horse barn. I wrote poems to my wife. I've been known to make up my own jokes. I wrote songs during the long lonely watches in Viet Nam (none were worth hearing). I lied "creatively" to my parents. And I'm sure that there must be some other things that might be described as "creative."

Yet, I would be reluctant to put myself in the same category as the people listed below.
01-Hans Christian Anderson-writer
02-Drew Carey-actor
03-Napoleon Bonaparte-emperor
04-Jim Carey-actor
05-Agatha Christie-author
06-Winston Churchill-Prime Minister
07-Francis Ford Coppola-director
08-Patricia Cornwell-writer
09-Emily Dickinson-writer
10-TS Elliot-poet
11-Ralph Waldo Emerson-essayist
12-Robert Frost-poet
13-Sigmund Freud-scientist
14-Marilyn Monroe-actor
16-Isaac Newton-scientist
17-Edgar Allen Poe-writer
18-Mark Twain-writer
19-Ted Turner-media giant
20-Vincent Van Gogh-artist
21-Abraham Lincoln-president
22-Axl Rose-singer
24-Ben Stiller-actor
25-Jane Pauley-news anchor

And the list goes on. All of the above are believed to be sufferers of Bipolar Disorder (BPD). For years, scientists have thought that there is a strong link between BPD and creativity. In recent times, Stanford University's researchers Connie Strong and Terence Ketter, MD, have made significant advances toward exploring this connection. They conducted a controlled study comparing both healthy, creative people and people from the general population. Their findings were that there was a disproportionate number of people with BPD in the creative group than was found among the general population. One of Strong's conclusions was that the "emotional range, having an emotional broadband, is the bipolar patient's advantage. It isn't the only thing going on, but something gives people with manic depression an edge, and I think it's emotional range." How mood influences the performance of artists and genius scientists will be further researched at Stanford.

There is also anecdotal evidence for a streak of creativity in BPD patients. The next time that you are at a support group meeting, ask your members if they have a creative way that they express themselves, something that might set them apart from their other acquaintances. In my case, my "creativity" is shown through my blog and my photography. I leave it up to you to decide how significant it is. This much I know. I have always had a yearning for a method to
express myself creatively. It has been an itch that I couldn't scratch, until this last year. So, for me, it is enough that I communicate my "artistic" side, however unremarkably. The only person who would be likely to see the genius in my life would be my mother, but I only need a fan club of one to be satisfied.

["I'm so low, I could do a ten minute free-fall off the edge of a dime."]

1 comment:

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