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.

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Interview with Author Latashia Figueroa:

Hi there Latashia. On behalf of myself and our readers, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today.

Hi Anthony and thanks so much for having me.

Tell us a bit about you and your journey to becoming an author.

Well, I began working in the fashion industry right out of school. I always said to myself, “This is just temporary.” But I became really comfortable with the industry and the money. After eighteen years, the company downsized. At first, I began to send out resumes, hoping and praying I would get a call back right away. While I waited, I began to write. And I loved it! My mother reminded me that as a child I always wrote short stories and left them on her nightstand for her to read. I pushed forward. I published my first book, THIS WAY DARKNESS: Three Tales of Terror in 2014.

2) Tell us about the conception of Ivy’s Envy and the Want & Decay series overall.

I submitted a flash fiction short to a fellow writers blog. And the more I read it, the more I liked where I could go with the story. IVY’S ENVY is the first story in the Want & Decay trilogy. In the beginning of the book is an Edgar Allan Poe quote, “Sometimes I’m terrified of my heart; of its constant hunger, for whatever it is it wants…”  I believe we all can relate to that on some level. We all struggle with the hunger of want. The characters in the Want & Decay series are desperate people. The more desperate they are, the darker they become. And each of them will learn, sometimes want can cause our decay.

3) When you are writing, what aspect of the writing excites you more: the development of the overall plot or the creation of the characters?

Definitely the creation of the characters. When I write a story, I have to know the ending in order to get the overall picture. That takes time, its work. But, creating the characters, getting to know them, understand their motives, that’s exciting for me. When I create my characters, I have an interview with them. I write down questions and then answer as the characters would. This really helps me write for them.

4) What authors served as a source of inspiration for you and your writing?

I grew up on Stephen King and R.L. Stine. I really dig Ira Levin, Douglas Clegg and John FD Taff. But H.P. Lovecraft will always be top of the list for me. He was truly ahead of his time.

5) Where do you hope to go with your writing career in the future?

Wow. I’d really love to write a screenplay and do independent films. Not only would I like to write them but direct them. Yes, move over Jennifer Kent!

Bonus Questions:

With technology, self-publishing and e-readers quickly rising in popularity, which format do you prefer when reading a book: e-reader or

paperback/hardback copies?

I like e-readers, but I’ll always love holding an actual book in my hand; flipping and folding back the pages,the smell of the paper. And how wonderfully worn they look when they’ve been loved too much.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors out there?

I would pass on this quote I recently found. “Do not write to impress others. Authors who write to impress people find difficulty remaining true to themselves.”

Thanks again!

Author Website: http://latashiafigueroa-author.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/latashiafigueroa

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LatashFigueroa

Instagram: https://instagram.com/frayed_pages/

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

The Voice of the Night by Dean Koontz Review

While it’s always enjoyable to get into huge, epic stories with a massive cast of characters and an incredible tale, sometimes the best books
can be incredibly short, sweet, and to the point. That is the case with Dean Koontz’s novel, The Voice of the Night. Following the friendship
between two boys, Colin and Roy, and the troubling developments that come when Colin realizes there’s something not quite right with Roy, this
book features a very small and intimate cast, where all but two or three of the characters are truly likeable, and readers are given a fantastic
look into the horrors humanity is capable of inflicting on itself and how few innocent people reside in it, and how even an innocent can be
turned and twisted into something unimaginable. For those looking for a short and intimate read, then The Voice of the Night by Dean Koontz
is for you. Filled with the classic elements of horror and mystery, this is a great read and well worth the time and effort.

Books and Other Media Formats #1: The Stand by Stephen King

One of the biggest inspirations for me personally as a writer is other media formats. While the written word is my favorite medium of storytelling,
when I write, I imagine what certain scenes in my books would look like as a movie or television series. I also enjoy seeing some of my
favorite books translated into film, television and other media formats. One book I’m incredibly excited to see become a film franchise is
Stephen King’s The Stand. Written as an epic saga of good versus evil, the book follows the survivors of a devastating plague that wipes out
all but a few of the human population. Those survivors must choose whether to follow the path of the light or give into the evil desires of
a ruthless stranger who seeks to wipe out the remaining good guys in the world. It’s an interesting take on the classic tale of the apocalypse,
and this story is incredibly character driven, and I think with the right cast this can be an amazing new film series that fans and newcomers
alike will enjoy. Who do you think should be in The Stand series? If you don’t know the book that well, what book do you want to see get
made into a movie/tv series next?

Developing Plot #2: Deciding The Main Obstacle

When you decide to write a story, whether it be a short story, a novella, or a full book, deciding what the main obstacle or problem of the
book is important. No matter what your genre is, what the characters are doing, or who your characters are, the main obstacle is what brings
the entire story together. Bottom line: if you have no obstacle, you have no story.

For instance, let’s take a popular book and see what it would like look without a central problem. For instance, the Hunger Games by
Suzanne Collins. The series’ main protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, lives in world where the planet’s government has not only divided the
country into twelve districts, but has put into motion a yearly ritual in which a boy and a girl are chosen to participate in deadly games
in which you must kill or survive until you are the last person standing, like a modern day gladiator ring. When her young sister is chosen,
Katniss steps in and volunteers to take her sister’s place, putting herself in danger in order to protect her sister.

Now what would have happened if her sister hadn’t been chosen? Katniss would never have had a reason to volunteer for the Hunger Games. Without that, she never would have gone on to become the central figurehead for a revolution. She never would have saved her friend/love interest, Peeta, and would never have gone on to be the first couple to survive the games. She never would have broken the entire Hunger Games system, and never would have helped the rebellion take down the antagonist for the series, President Snow. Without that central obstacle in the first novel, without her sister being chosen, Katniss never would have had a journey worth telling.

This is why the central obstacle is important for any book or book series. Without that first and main obstacle, there is no start to the
story. There’s nothing for the story’s protagonists to overcome. There’s nothing tangible to hang onto, and therefore the story collapses.

Question: What is an example of a story that lacked a central obstacle?