March 9, 2017 • Volume 10, Issue 10 • Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines
The creativity question
Does having bipolar make you inherently more creative? Science offers no simple answers, but many researchers note overlaps between aspects of artistic creativity and traits that are common in people who have bipolar or a family history of illness.
One is divergent thinking, the ability to make unusual connections. Another is impulsivity, which in this case translates to lower self-censorship. Others are emotional sensitivity, and, to a lesser degree, extraversion (being outgoing and energetic).
Daniel Smith, MD, of the University of Glasgow speculates that there might be a common root in the underlying genetics. He led a 2015 study involving 1,881 individuals that found a significant association between high IQ scores at age 8 and hypo/manic features at age 23.
“One possibility is that serious disorders of mood … are the price that human beings have had to pay for more adaptive traits such as intelligence, creativity and verbal proficiency,” he told The Guardian newspaper.
Of course, not everyone with bipolar is a Van Gogh or Mozart. But whether you’re blessed by the muse or not, pursuing self-expression through creative pursuits can be an important part of managing bipolar.
As columnist Beth Brownsberger Mader notes, “having the inherent ability to create visual, written, performing or other forms of artistic communication can ease symptoms of our illness, help us cope, and teach us, and others, each and every day more about what we live with.”
So what happens when the creative well runs dry? See how Beth coped in “When Creativity leaves, Have Patience.” Read more >>
A better way to study genetic risk
FEBRUARY 7, 2017, Philadelphia, PA—Individuals who experience depression at an early age and have more severe depressive symptoms possess an increased genetic risk for bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia, reports a new study published in Biological Psychiatry. Study authors said that sorting individuals with similar illness characteristics into subgroups will make it easier to identify relevant genes. Read more >>
Sadness vs. Depression – Which Is It? (video)
bp Magazine columnist, Melody Moezzi, discusses the distinction between clinical depression and typical sadness. Watch her video blog >>
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community