22 Feb 06
Am I Crazy?
A quote from Herman Melville’s Billy Budd:
Who in the rainbow can draw the line where the violet tint ends and the orange tint begins?… So with sanity and insanity. In pronounced cases there is no question about them. But, in less obvious cases, few people are willing to draw the exact line of demarcation… though for a fee some professional experts will.
Dr Langley, an ASU professor, determined I had bipolar disorder in 2004. I refused to believe his diagnosis, I was embarrassed about it and I’ve only recently come to terms with it. Over time, my own self-consciousness has lessened.
I recently requested to see my mental-health records at the prison.
Dr B. wrote I had "Bipolar one [and] social phobia issues." On 19-01-05, he wrote I was, "In [the] lengthy middle ground between poles of bipolar." He added that I was, "Highly intelligent but emotionally immature." On 15-02-05, I was "Mildly hypomanic."
Dr A. wrote about our pyschotherapy sessions, which I have already posted. He diagnosed bipolar and anxiety disorders.
Some of the authors I am inspired by were bipolar. Charles Dickens used his manic energy to write relentlessly. Mark Twain wrote masterpieces of American literature, and developed a popular following as a lecturer. Virginia Woolf (whose The Death of the Moth I adore) was a prodigious writer until she drowned herself in the midst of a depression. Ernest Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the Nobel Prize for Literature, but he took his own life with a shotgun.
Now that more is understood about bipolar disorder, I feel that I can manage it using mental yoga, and perhaps achieve a modicum of success before my mind snaps completely.
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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood