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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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slide1
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)

slide2
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.

slide3
Magdalena Fernandez

Common places

Abstract Mind Mural. 2006

slide5
CREATION: natural and human

ACTION + BIPOLARITY, + CONNECTION= DEVELOPMENT(simple origin, new, unique, and complex outcome)

slide6
Ingrid Garcia-Moya

Freshness. Abstract Mind Mural. 2006

creation is a tree1
Creation is a tree

Tree of mathematical bifurcations

Ingrid Garcia-Moya

Freshness.Abstract Mind Mural. 2006

slide9
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

slide10
How can we promote creation rather than destruction?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.
slide11
Incidence of Mental Illness

Artists 27%

Poets 50%

Architects 17%

Scientists 19%

General population 10-12%

Adele Juda (1949) Germany

slide12
The artistic creativity of bipolar persons

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

slide13
Depressed and Bipolar Musicians

Beethoven, Berlioz, Donizetti, Handel, Mahler,

Ochs, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, Tchaikovsky

Irving Berlin, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker,

Cole Porter

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

slide14
Depressed and Bipolar Artists

Severe depression: Baziotes. Gaugin, Guston, Michelangelo, Pollock, Rothko, Georgia O'Keefe

Bipolars: van Gogh, Gorky, Klein, Munch, Motherwell, Smit

slide15
Depressed 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

slide16
More depressed 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

slide17
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

slide18
CREATIVITY IN PSYCHIATRY -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
slide19
Bipolar Illness results from changes in ActionAction = 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)
slide20
Bipolar Illness results from changes in Action 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.
slide21
Manic depressive, an amplification of BipolarityMore 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
slide22
In Bipolar Illness there are more Connections: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)
slide23
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
measuring cardiac rhythms to study scientifically the dynamics of emotions and illness
Measuring Cardiac Rhythms to study scientifically the dynamics of emotions and illness
  • The interval between heart beats is measured for one entire day, as the person works, interacts with others, rests, and sleeps.
  • These intervals show small but essential variation. A thoroughly regular heart announces death.
  • These variations are due to the behavior and emotions experienced by the person.
  • These variations continually CREATE a new, diverse and complex pattern: BIOS
slide25
Electrocardiogram: measure heartbeat intervals (R to R interval = RRI)

Sequence of Human heartbeat intervals

slide26
Magdalena Fernandez

Common places

Human heartbeat intervals decomposed into their opposite components

Mandala: the wheel of opposites is a cosmic order in nature and in art

slide29
To reproduce the pattern of heartbeats (bios) mathematically with a computer one needs:

1. ACTION

2. BIPOLARITY

3. CONNECTION = CONSERVATION

bios patterns similar to the heart appear in many processes
Bios patterns, similar to the heart, appear in many processes:
  • The expansion of the universe
  • The wave function of electrons
  • Temperature variations of atmosphere and of ocean water
  • The form of rivers and shorelines
  • Changes in respiration rate
  • Economic stocks, prices, production volume
  • Music
biotic patterns are generated by the interaction of opposites
Biotic patterns are generated by the interaction of opposites.
  • Mathematical models of bios require opposites
  • Heart: brain speeds up and slows down the heart
  • Attraction and repulsion among electrical charges
  • Weather: warm and cold fronts, warm and cold currents
  • Supply and demand create bios, not equilibrium, in economics
slide32
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.
slide33
As Bios patterns appears in many processes
  • The expansion of the universe
  • The wave function of electrons
  • Temperature variations of atmosphere and of ocean water
  • The form of rivers and shorelines
  • Changes in respiration rate
  • Economic stocks, prices, production volume
  • Music

NATURAL AND HUMAN PROCESSES ARE CREATIVE, NOT DETERMINED OR RANDOM.

THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES AND WE CAN CREATE THEM.

slide34
Creation; from simple to complex

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

slide35
CREATION: A TREE WITH THREE ROOTSACTION: arrowsBIPOLARITY: positive/negative, left/right, woman/man, manic/depressive creating cycles (wheels, engines)CONNECTION (folds, knots, bodies )
depression by veronica riedel
DEPRESSION by Veronica Riedel

A gray existence

A black mood

Thinking in black and white fosters depression and aggression

slide37
Beyond two opposites
  • Action (like the sequence of numbers)
  • Bipolarity, opposition (like the length and width of a plane)
  • Triads (like length, width and height)

Mood Triads: Passion, self and order

Love (sex), joy and peace

Anger, fear (anxiety) and depression

the creativeness of three
The Creativeness of Three
  • Quantum mechanics: there are three classes of quarks (the particles that make matter)
  • Mathematical theorems show the creativity of three (Poincare, Sarkovskii)
  • Family: mother, father and child
  • Color: three primary colors
  • Three in mental categories, branches of government, Trinitarian concepts of Divinity, etc, etc
quantum physics
Quantum Physics
  • Action: the quantum has the dimensions of both energy and time
  • Opposition: atoms are formed by the electrical interaction of oppositely charged particles.
  • Triad: atomic nuclei are formed by the union of three quarks of three different “colors”. (Not by chance matter has three dimensions)
slide40
Three roots, continuing creation
  • Physical light has no color
  • Simple eyes distinguish light from dark
  • Evolved eyes distinguish 3 colors

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

slide41
Three roots, continuing creation
  • Action
  • Bipolarity, opposition
  • Triads: quarks, colors, moods, concepts

Passion, self and order

4. green: affection and growthversusenvy (greed)

5…many colors….infinity: creation never ends and strives towards something greater

slide42
Personal choices,

National choices:

Love or war?

Joy or fear?

Affection or greed?

Peace or depression?

a creative manner of thinking
A creative manner of thinking
  • Action: do not remain still, do not change passively. Initiate action; be the protagonist of your own life.
  • Opposition: Nothing is entirely true, nothing is entirely false. Black and white thinking generates conflict and depression.
  • Triad: Think in color, not just in black and white, or grey. Both opposites share much that is wrong, so seek the third.
slide44
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.

slide45
Hector Sabelli

B I O S

a Study of

Creation

[email protected]

http://creativebios.com

World Scientific

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