Bipolar Disorder and Creativity: Can You Still Be Creative on Bipolar Medication?

If you’re a creative type, the idea of bipolar disorder as a component of your creativity can keep you from getting the help you need. A common misperception is that treatment renders artists incapable of the kinds of thought that allow them to see the world in their own unique way. Is this true? Maybe and maybe not.

Artists Do Think Differently

Artists are typically better at two types of thinking. One, called janusian thought, is defined as actively thinking of multiple opposites at the same time. The other, called homospatial process, is defined as actively thinking of two or more different things or people occupying the same space.

Artists also tend to think in nonlinear and nonconventional ways. The treatment you choose needs to allow you to continue doing that.

Effects of Medication on Bipolar Disorder

People who create art need to be careful to get the right medications for them. Finding the right medication regimen may make a huge difference in your creative output. The right medications for you also allow you to stay mentally healthy enough to produce quality art.

Creativity and Lithium

Lithium may not be a good choice for artists, as it suppresses janusian thought and homospatial process.

It’s also easy to confuse the effects of going off lithium with a return to creativity, which may prompt you to quit taking it.

What actually happens is that you become energized and hypomanic or manic after abruptly stopping a large dose of lithium. The effects on creativity, if there are any, don’t last. Instead, you may become too ill to create anything at all.

So, What Medications are Better?

A few medications have been used successfully to treat bipolar disorder without causing effects that impair creative thinking.

So far, anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine, valproate, lamotrigine, gabapentin, and tiagabine are excellent choices for artists. Channel blockers like verapamil have also shown favorable results in a few cases.

Is Therapy Better than Medication?

The wrong kind of psychotherapy can indeed suppress creative ways of thinking. However, therapy is a treatment of choice when the therapist understands your need to remain creative while overcoming the harmful effects of bipolar disorder.

Even though you might prefer therapy to medication as a treatment, you might need to take medications to be well enough to attend and learn from therapy. Therapy helps you deal with anxiety, bipolar depression, and mania by encouraging you to take medication as needed (adherence).

What You can Do

You do have control over your own treatment for bipolar disorder. Taking charge of your care helps you get the right treatments for you. Here are some things you can do to protect your creativity while getting treatment:

  • Find an understanding psychiatrist and/or therapist.
  • Emphasize the importance of preserving your ability to think creatively.
  • If you are worried about side effects of any of the possible medications, such as lithium carbonate, ask your psychiatrist to choose a different medication for you.
  • If you do take medication, take them as directed, and don’t discontinue them abruptly. Talk to your psychiatrist if you are experiencing any difficulties with your medication.
  • Call on your creativity during therapy to better understand how to deal with your bipolar disorder.

Both medications and therapy can help creative people with bipolar disorder. The best thing you can do for yourself is to stick with treatment until you find the right combination for you!

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy

 

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie-Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

Advertisements

There is some amazing #artwork in @shanedawson ’s #itgetsworsebook and #artist @tinhoangs recently contacted me, and he told me about creating the #art for one of my favorite chapters in the #book, The Ghost of my Grandma. The image is fantastic and everyone should go follow this incredible artist! #shanedawson #bookart #youtube #youtubers #igartists

Interview with Author/Illustrator Isis Sousa:


1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and
how you came to be a writer.

Hi Anthony! First of all, I want to thank
you for the great opportunity! I never know what to tell about myself… But I
can start sharing about the things I do. I work as professional illustrator doing
most book covers nowadays and before that I have worked as graphic designer in
the heavy metal music industry. I also do photography as hobby, most
nature/landscapes, I am a woodcarving apprentice and ornament painter and on my
scarce free time I also enjoy climbing/hiking on mountains and nurture a
passion for languages. I begin to write by accident. I had an idea for a story
one day and by the time it was the self-publishing boom… And then I asked myself,
why not publish it? Just for fun? Then, I did it and the story was “The Night
of Elisa.”

2) Where did the inspiration for “The Night of Elisa” come from?

It came from a dream I had 13-14 years ago.
I was there, in this place where the twilight was eternal and discovered the
people around me were all dead… I had a warning about the death of a friend/co-worker
in that dream. Which came true about a week later, and this experience has been
imprinted in who I am to this day. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the book and Francis
Ford Coppola’s movie were also very remarkable to me. Music has also a great
influence in what I do and. I’d say those were the main sources of inspiration
for the story 🙂

3) What other writers or artists have inspired your work?

Oh boy! This list would be endless! I am an
art nuts, I collect art books and images, fiction and a loooot of music. I can
say writers such as Stephen King, Mary Shelley, Clive Barker, Allan Moore, Bram
Stoker, Oscar Wilde, to name a few. (Yes, I am all about classics, both the old
school and the modern.) I love the works of illustrators painters such as Mark
Simonetti, Pierangelo Boog, Corrado Vanelli  and Raphael Lacoste and many, many names of
the classic arts.


4) What do you find is your best creative outlet: writing or artwork, (i.e.
illustration, graphic design, etc?)

Artwork, no doubt! 🙂 Writing is too
tiresome, too slow, and full of letters 😉 Doing art is so free, colourful,
flows like good music.

5) You mention in your bio you are a metal fan. What bands do you listen to
when you are working on your next book or piece of art?

I love many Metal bands and also the
classics in Hard Rock. Some of the most inspirational bands for me are Paradise
Lost, Moonspell, Therion, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation,  and Crematory to name a few.

6) What is your favorite genre to both read and write in?

Gothic, classic Gothic stuff 🙂 I am attracted
to the Dark and the Fantastic, and the Romantic aesthetics.

7) How do you feel social media has impacted your reach as an artist and
writer?

To be honest, it has impacted tremendously.
Art communities such as CGScociety, Sketchoholic, IAMag and Art Station (which
are the social media for digital artists/illustrators) together with Facebook, connected
me to great names of the industry and clients.

As an author, my best social media is
GoodReads and recently, Twitter. Goodreads, specially, has enabled me to
connect with most of my readership and helped me spread the word about my work
and come across a lot of cool authors, such as yourself! And now Twitter is
putting me across a lot of interesting people with common interests.

Without social media, it would be extremely
difficult to show the world the work that I do…

8) What do you find more rewarding when
writing: developing plot or creating your characters?

Characters, characters and characters 😀
Developing plots give me headache 😛 Characters are fun, I can imagine what
they are made of, what do they like, what they look like and how they would
react in given situation… This is such a cosy part of the process.

9) What is one genre you would never write in and why?

Hm, I am kind of an “anti” person, so it
would be most genres! LOL Don’t get me wrong. I love to read most genres and I
like to add a pinch of romance, horror, mystery and anything dark in my work as
a general rule. I think perhaps the least attractive genres to write, would be
in my opinion, a “romantic romance” or a “sweet romance”, also erotica. these genres are just
not me, but I respect  and root for those who write them. Oh and I almost forgot – Young Adult. I dislike 99% of YA stories out
there and I see no fun at all in writing about teen years, ew! 😛

10) What are your future plans for your writing and art careers?

The most selfish of all!!!  – To be able to live out of my illustrated
books someday and to paint ONLY for myself (meaning, as an artist, I would not
need to make commissioned work for any clients, anymore!). I love my clients,
they are smart, fun, great minds to work with, but every artist’s dream is to
paint for him/herself! ^.^

Here’s a little behind the scenes sneak peek at two alternative covers for my new novella, VOID. Are you an artist who wants to show off their work? Create an original piece of artwork related to VOID, tag me in your post online, and a lucky few of you will be featured on my @youtube channel and will get a free electronic copy of the book. #creative #creatorspotlight #artist #artwork #novella #bookworm #booklover #booklaunch #VOID #voidbook #contemporaryromance #bookcover #bookart #bookaholic #bookcovers

Another great piece of artwork for my novella, VOID! Are you an artist who wants their artwork showcased? Create an original piece of artwork related to the novella VOID, or centered around the themes of love, loss, friendship and life in general. Post it online and tag me on any social media networks, and not only will I feature my favorite pieces online and on my @youtube channel, but I will select a few people to receive a free copy of the novella VOID! #author #drama #contemporaryromance #bookworm #booklaunch #VOID #voidbook #contest #art #artwork #artist #creatorspotlight #creative #creativity