Bipolar Creativity Learning from Mental Illness Reflections on THE ABSTRACT MIND MURAL Created by Aldo Castillo (curator) and the Neumann Association Chicago Festival of Disability Arts and Culture (2006). Hector Sabelli, M.D., Ph. D. Chicago Center for Creative Development (CCCD).
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Learning from Mental Illness
THE ABSTRACT MIND MURAL
Created by Aldo Castillo (curator)
and the Neumann Association
Chicago Festival of Disability Arts and Culture (2006)
Hector Sabelli, M.D., Ph. D.
Chicago Center for Creative Development (CCCD)
The birth of Venus, the Spirit of Love, from the waves of the ocean offers an interesting metaphor for evolution: the creation of complexity by waves.
Waves, such as light waves and swings of mood, are swings between opposites.
Magdalena Fernandez the ocean offers an interesting metaphor for evolution: the creation of complexity by waves.
Abstract Mind Mural. 2006
CREATION: natural and human the ocean offers an interesting metaphor for evolution: the creation of complexity by waves.
ACTION + BIPOLARITY, + CONNECTION= DEVELOPMENT(simple origin, new, unique, and complex outcome)
Ingrid Garcia-Moya the ocean offers an interesting metaphor for evolution: the creation of complexity by waves.
Freshness. Abstract Mind Mural. 2006
Tree of mathematical bifurcations
Freshness.Abstract Mind Mural. 2006
Creation is continually accompanied by destruction: illness, ageing, environmental pollution, global warming, crime, war, terrorism, preventive war
Fostering creativity is an essential component in the treatment of every loss and every illness.
Objective: to be creative by intent and design, not by chance
How can we promote creation rather than destruction? ageing, environmental pollution, global warming, crime, war, terrorism, preventive war What are the psychological traits that enhance creativity? Some answers to this question may be found in considering the well documented relation between bipolar illness and artistic creativity.
Incidence of Mental Illness ageing, environmental pollution, global warming, crime, war, terrorism, preventive war
General population 10-12%
Adele Juda (1949) Germany
The artistic creativity of bipolar persons ageing, environmental pollution, global warming, crime, war, terrorism, preventive war
Bipolar traits: 66% of award-winning writers, poets, painters and sculptors
Mood disorder 40 % artists
Mood disorder 80% of creative writers
Akiskal H, Akiskal K. Psychiatry and Psychobiology 1988
Andreasen NC, Glick ID: Comprehensive Psychiatry, 1988
Jamison KR: Touched with fire. 1993
Ludwig AM. Creative achievement and psychopathology: comparison among professions. Am J Psychotherapy 1992; 46:330–356.
Schildkraut and coworkers American Journal Psychiatry, 1994
Depressed and Bipolar Musicians ageing, environmental pollution, global warming, crime, war, terrorism, preventive war
Beethoven, Berlioz, Donizetti, Handel, Mahler,
Ochs, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, Tchaikovsky
Irving Berlin, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker,
Alohe Jean Burke, Rosemary Clooney, DMX Earl Simmons, Ray Davies, Lenny Dee, Peter Gabriel, Jimi Hendrix, Kristen Hersh, Phyllis HymanJack Irons, Daniel Johnston, Otto Klemperer, Oscar Levant, Phil, John Ogden, Jaco PastoriusCharley Pride, Mac Rebennack, Jeannie C. Riley,Alys Robi, Axl Rose, Nick Traina, Del Shannon,Phil Spector, Sting, Gordon Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, Townes Van Zandtr
Depressed and Bipolar Artists ageing, environmental pollution, global warming, crime, war, terrorism, preventive war
Severe depression: Baziotes. Gaugin, Guston, Michelangelo, Pollock, Rothko, Georgia O'Keefe
Bipolars: van Gogh, Gorky, Klein, Munch, Motherwell, Smit
Depressed ageing, environmental pollution, global warming, crime, war, terrorism, preventive war and Bipolar Writers
Andersen, Balzac, Berryman, Conrad, Dickens, Dickinson, Eliot, Emerson, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Goethe, Greene, Hemingway, Hugo, Keats, Ibsen, Melville, Sylvia Plath, Poe, Anne Sexton, Mary Shelley, Tolstoy, Williams, Virginia Woolf
More depressed ageing, environmental pollution, global warming, crime, war, terrorism, preventive war and bipolar Writers
Louis Althusser, Art Buchwald, Neal Cassady, Patricia Cornwell, Margot Early, Kaye Gibbons, Abbie Hoffman, Kay Redfield Jamison, Peter Nolan Lawrence, Frances Lear, Rika Lesser, Kate Millet, Robert Munsch, Margo Orum, Theodore Roethke, Lori Schiller, Frances Sherwood, Scott Simmie, August Strindberg, Mark Twain, Joseph Vasquez, Mark Vonnegut, Sol Wachtler, Mary Jane Ward
Being creative: using simple materials to make something new, different, usually more complex.
Language: from a limited vocabulary, an infinite number of dialogues, always new, and great creations: Homer, Alighieri, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Moliere
Mind: continually new thoughts
Behavior: continually new sequences of actions
Heartbeats: continually new rhythms
CREATIVITY IN PSYCHIATRY new, different, usually more complex. -is the hallmark of mental health -is the core of psychotherapy -requires three components: 1. ACTION is necessary for health and for therapy 2. BIPOLARITY: ability to see opposite views and to reverse role with others; neurotics, borderlines and anti-social psychopaths see the world in black and white 3. PERSONAL CONNECTIONS AND CULTURAL CONSERVATION
Bipolar Illness results from changes in Action new, different, usually more complex. Action = energy change in time Consider togetherphysical and mental energy (biological and psychological treatment must go together)Consider togetherchanges in energy and in tempoAgency (Active, not passive change)
Bipolar Illness results from changes in Action new, different, usually more complex. Mania and Hypomania: greater energy and faster tempo: increased wakefulness and alertness, emotional reactivity, greater sensitivity, greater physical, sexual, and intellectual energy, freer expression Depression: slower and weaker action: motor retardation, longer sleep, circular obsessions, disorganized (chaotic) mood.
Manic depressive, an amplification of Bipolarity new, different, usually more complex. More love and more conflicts More creation and more destruction Ingrained contrariness and opposition to established beliefs, which frequently antagonizes other people Bifurcating personalities: more friends and more enemies Highs and lows provide the bipolar person with a dual perspective and thus greater creativity
In Bipolar Illness there are more Connections: new, different, usually more complex. interpersonal (intense affection, love, solidarity) and intrapsychic (“loose associations”, unconscious connections, imagination)and more disconnecting and branching (bifurcations): interpersonal (career changes, emigration, break-ups, lost jobs) and intrapsychic (intellectual leaps, shifts in mood, diversity of interests)
Learning to think creatively from Bipolar Illness: applying action, bipolarity and connection principles to scientific analysis. Example: human cardiac activity 1. Consider sequence in time: how is the sequence of heartbeats? (instead of asking what is the heart rate)2. Identify Opposites: calculate the sine and the cosine of the value of each heartbeat 3. Make Connections: -study changes in heart rhythm to study emotions -use mathematics to study heart rhythms
Electrocardiogram: measure heartbeat intervals (R to R interval = RRI)
Sequence of Human heartbeat intervals
Magdalena Fernandez interval = RRI)
Human heartbeat intervals decomposed into their opposite components
Mandala: the wheel of opposites is a cosmic order in nature and in art
To reproduce the pattern of heartbeats (bios) mathematically with a computer one needs:
3. CONNECTION = CONSERVATION
A wave is a fold created by opposite forces. The simplest creation is the interaction of opposites that generates a fold connecting parts that were apart.
As Bios patterns appears in many processes creation is the inter
NATURAL AND HUMAN PROCESSES ARE CREATIVE, NOT DETERMINED OR RANDOM.
THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES AND WE CAN CREATE THEM.
Creation; from simple to complex creation is the inter
Cosmos: from Big Bang to galaxies
Life: from unicellular organisms to humans
History: from stone age to modern society
Person: from egg to baby to adult
Creation is not a single event, but continues at each moment of time
We are part and parcel of creation
CREATION: A TREE WITH THREE ROOTS creation is the interACTION: arrowsBIPOLARITY: positive/negative, left/right, woman/man, manic/depressive creating cycles (wheels, engines)CONNECTION (folds, knots, bodies )
A gray existence
A black mood
Thinking in black and white fosters depression and aggression
Beyond two opposites creation is the inter
Mood Triads: Passion, self and order
Love (sex), joy and peace
Anger, fear (anxiety) and depression
Three roots, continuing creation creation is the inter
4. The lower centers of the brain encode these three colors in 4: two sets of opposites
5…the cerebral cortex constructs many colors from these 4 basic colors, and as one learns painting, one learns to distinguish more and more colors
Three roots, continuing creation creation is the inter
Passion, self and order
4. green: affection and growthversusenvy (greed)
5…many colors….infinity: creation never ends and strives towards something greater
Personal choices, creation is the inter
Love or war?
Joy or fear?
Affection or greed?
Peace or depression?
Think in color, not in black and white: regarding life and world as a cosmic battle between good and evil has tragic consequences
Think 1, 2, 3, NOT simpler
Seek to understand the oneness behind diversity, the two sides of every opposition, the creation of many
Analyze behind sequence of events, who and what are opposites, what is the ever present third
Act. Oppose and accept opposition. Connect and conserve.