Monday, April 10, 2006

Bipolar Disorder, Creativity, and Vitamin B

Bipolar 2

I am often quite depressed and I do believe I have a very mild case of bipolar 2 - which means I do not get manic, merely hypomanic, and spend a good deal of my time depressed. I know several people very well who are bipolar 2 (that in itself is a symptom - bipolar people tend to find each other). And have had some very painful experiences as of late. And please do believe I am not saying this lightly.

Bipolar and Creativity

As a sidenote, many of our world's greatest poets were bipolar - as it turns out - as are many other creative people - often resulting in their eventual suicide. As a result of that and studies of many other enormously creative people who often turn out to be bipolar - the possible link between creativity and bipolar has become very controversial. Kay Redfield Jamison writes a book on this very thing called, Touched By Fire. She has bipolar herself - a rather severe form - and seems to think the link is quite conclusive. Nevertheless, she leaves us with the idea that though bipolar may not cause creativity, nor creativity cause bipolar, when the two collide in one person, the bipolar may aid the creativity tremendously. Hard to know. In my experience the great pain I've felt and the great passion I've felt (both partly due to being somewhat bipolar) are necessary in driving me forward to write, to sing, to create - and to do those things well because of the genuine emotion I've lived through.

Bipolar Disorder and Vitamin B

But anyway, I've started taking vitamin B supplements and making sure to eat my fruits and green veggies again (like I used to several years ago) and oh my goodness!!! Life is better...the power of nutrition is incredible. My mother always told me that we (in my family) were constitutionally different (maybe because we had an unlabelled predisposition to bipolar disorder - not surprising if one looks back at the eccentric behavior of my family) and cannot eat sugar the way other people can and must eat very nutritionally. My grandmother used to say we were constitutionally deficient. My mother always took a vitamin B supplement. Anyway, having done this for two weeks I find: I am not hypomanic and not depressed. Rather, I am okay. And that is more than fine!!!

If you are interested the vitamin B supplement you would want is a B-complex which supplies 50 mg at least of each type of vitamin B (there are five I think or six), make sure it has B9, folic acid. A multi-vitamin once a day is almost definitely not supplying enough - although if you feel better then that's what you're going for. You should be able to feel the difference.

I would be really interested to hear any of your personal experiences with any of this stuff and your opinions. I am aware that yours might be very different from mine - and that's okay! I'd love to know why! Always looking for more information....leave a comment....



At 12:29 AM, Anonymous Michael said...

I've been with bipolar 1 disorder for close to a decade, and on lithium for the last four years, which has been my salvation that allows me to be stable and live a very fulfilling and productive life -- though, I foolishly took myself off my meds about 6 months ago and, after a breakdown, have now been back on for eleven days. Already I can feel the difference -- I was coming from a manic episode -- and I feel organized and more coherent. Anyhow, my point is: I just started taking a Vitamim B complex (100mg of each of the B vitamins) as well so I am so curious to see how this will affect my 'recovery'. I recall a few years ago I was taking a B vitamin supplement but had to discontinue because it made me nauseous (there were other factors at the time though) -- for years I have read and heard it is useful... So, reading your experience has made my day! I return to work in three weeks and want to be my best, I think I the vitamins will be a good addition to my meds. I've also started taking Gingko Biloba so we'll see what effect that has, I've also heard positive things. Between quitting alcohol and getting back on my meds I am feeling so much more clear -- and feel and hope that adding the Vitamin B and Gingko will really make me excel and get me back on my A-game...wait, no, A-plus-game! ;) ... take care!

At 12:08 AM, Blogger ~x~ said...

I've just started taking b5 and already notice the difference. I took it with B complex vitamin and megadosed the b5 because it's supposed to normalize the manic/depressive brain. I've been reading a lot about nutritional cures for bipolar and this one was recommended and seemed harmless and like it wouldn't interact with my meds.


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