Bipolar: Different is Not Always Bad with Bipolar Disorder

 
Hi,

I have something really interesting to tell you today. You might not know this but I have about 8 people now who work for me with one or more mental illnesses. One has even been diagnosed with 10 different disorders, and she is still able to work for me. Am I out of my mind? Some people think that I am.

But I want to tell you two things. First, that if you have one or more mental disorders, you can still do well. Just look at this one person’s story: She is a writer who has 10 different disorders, starting from when she was 12 years old!   She is on disability, but she loves to write, so maybe that’s part of it – she is doing what she loves to do.

Do you think that’s her secret?  I think her secret is that she is stable. And she is stable because she follows a good treatment plan, including taking her medication and seeing a psychiatrist on a regular basis.

Secondly, I have found that people who have mental disorders like bipolar disorder are really very smart when they are stable. It’s amazing actually. I have found people in my company that once stable can do tasks and projects that nobody else can do or wants to do.

These people can think faster, better, solve problems faster, and are solution-oriented, proactive, take initiative, etc. It’s amazing!

If your loved one has a mental illness, remember this. Great things in society were done by many people with mental illnesses. Edgar Allen Poe was a great writer, and they say that even he had a mental illness.

There were (and are) a number of great authors, actors, composers, writers, etc., who they say had (have) mental illnesses. They say that even Van Gogh had a mental illness. Believe it or not, even Abraham Lincoln was thought to suffer from bipolar disorder because of his documented depressions. And Mozart, too!

People today include:

Patty Duke
Carrie Fisher
Jane Pauley
Jim Carey
Robin Williams
Ted Turner
Mel Gibson
Patricia Cornwell
Robert Downey Jr.
Tim Burton

If someone says you are odd, the only reason you would be odd is because you have such tremendous potential. But does that mean you have a mental illness?  Not necessarily.

Different?  Smarter?  More creative? If your loved one is these things, it’s not something to be afraid of.  As long as they are stable, and taking their medication and following a good treatment plan, you can remain supportive without fear of them.

Remember about the people I told you about who work for me. Think about all the famous people I told you about, both in the past and the present. Different is not always bad. It just means that you look at things differently, as people with bipolar disorder do.

I call it “coloring outside the lines.” Or, as it is more commonly known, “thinking outside the box.” I can always count on the people who work for me to do that. If your loved one seems different than other people, embrace that difference.  It can be a good thing.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,

 

Dave

 

  1. What a coincidence! So do I! I work with the same amount. My daughter (9 years old) as adorable and as sassy as they come reminds me constantly – “I hope you are keeping peers and colleagues in the workplace (multiple personality wise)! There is no room for that at home!” I chuckled

    She has quite an insight although she doesnt call me “out of my mind” she thinks I’m “Special” or “Gifted” for being able to function for 12 hours with so many personalities! I explained to her that one needs to be especially patient and empathetic because one never knows what “episode”, “name” or “situation” one can be pulled into on a given day. She asked what the secret of being able to “keep it together was” – I answered her in agreement with you:

    the secret is that the person is doing what they love to do and that is the coping mechanism at hand! what an eye opening experience.

    P.S. I was shocked that Abraham Lincoln was there – I guess I shouldnt’ be – my hairdresser dresses a hair like designer and outfit – Emmy worthy work and yet she’s bipolar.

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