Some experts theorize that mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder and depression, have affected change in society because their disorders altered the way they looked at life. They were also obsessed to positively change it.
Examples include Nightingale’s changes in medicine, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, or Abraham Lincoln’s abolition of slavery.
That type of passion and raw desire to slather a page in emotion can be seen as a crazy devotion. It could also be seen as a type of mania. Both of these men suffered from what is known as bipolar disorder.
While these endeavors might not be viewed as “artistic,” they involve creativity to change the status quo, and make changes to society and impart knowledge and equality on generations to come.
It has yet to be explained whether people with bipolar disorder are drawn toward art, or art is drawn to bipolar people, but there is one undisputed fact with bipolar disorder: “The link to creativity is strong,” Dr. Brodsky said.
A study in the American Journal of Psychiatry from 1987 found that in 30 creative writers, there was a higher rate of mental illness, predominantly towards bipolar disorder. They also had superior IQs, which is another flattering thing.
Another study found that there was enhanced creativity in bipolar patients than those without a diagnosed mental disorder. The study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2007, acknowledged its size and scope were limited, and that further study was needed to “determine the mechanisms of enhanced creativity and how it relates to clinical and preclinical parameters.”