Honoring Van Gogh—Are Creativity and Madness Linked?

We are all familiar with the story of the “tortured artist” but is there a unique creative force in the mood swings of bipolar disorder?

By the time I was sixteen years old, I had convinced myself that I was a creative genius. I knew nothing yet of bipolar disorder, but the budding manias of my teenage years had flowered into an obsessive pursuit of literary greatness. Inspired by poets like William Blake and Emily Dickinson, I wrote constantly, often into the early morning hours. After writing page after page in my journals, I shoved the pieces of paper into my very own secret box.

When I think about those years, and then the eventual tumultuous years of my early twenties, I often ask myself: Was such intense creativity the result of madness? Or was madness the result of creativity? I ask the same question when I consider the lives and creative contributions made by the many great poets, writers, musicians, and artists who may have had bipolar disorder.

 

Read the rest of my article at https://www.bphope.com/blog/world-bipolar-day-honoring-van-gogh-are-creativity-and-madness-linked/.

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