And now a word about hypomania…


I’ve always been fascinated about how people on the edge, who live with mental illness, manage to get through life. I certainly find the following presentation fascinating from the Ted Conference- I am not sure what he is advocating- that we should let bipolar folks off their meds from time to time and see what happens? Hmm. Intriguing idea. Not sure it would work.. Thankfully, a double-edged sword is in play- I think that medication cannot always eliminate the essential benefits of being a person who lives on the edge… and the drive and innovation that “crazy” people bring to our culture… but kudos to him for being “out” there on this issue…

1 thought on “And now a word about hypomania…”

  1. Of course, while he does acknowledge a “sweet spot” where being abnormal is advantageous in certain human endeavors, especially ones dependent on innovation (like the arts) but he’s also honest and experienced enough not to embrace the bogus proposition that creativity and insanity are indistinguishable that is so popular in some circles.

    In many cases, the non-medicated option requires some other support system behind the possibly hypomanic innovator: money, patronage et cetera. Beethoven (one of Walters’ examples) didn’t get by being violently moody; he had patrons who took care of him even when he was unpleasant to be around.

    To be blunt, while I do have a very accomplished artist friend who has been dealing with psychotic symptoms her whole life, she’s the exception. Most of the artists I’ve known with serious mental illnesses are often stunted creatively beyond a certain point unless they commit to overcoming their illnesses.

    Of course, the bottom line is that if it is advantageous, it’s not really an illness, is it? Just odd.

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