Monday, February 04, 2008

Bipolar Disorder is like a Coin - it has Two Sides

BIPOLAR Disorder has two inextricably linked manifestations - Mania and Depression. Both the extreme end of the other. One has to recognize the presence of a continuum that exists between both.

I have lived with these extremes. The days I spend between these poles are brief passages of time, compared to the weeks and months I live in the poles of this disorder imposed on me.

I hope to be able to describe to you later what it is to live inside the spectrum of this disorder.

4 weeks ago, during the Holidays, I spent time to read the book written by Garret Loporto The Da Vinci Method. Loporto presents within the pages of the book a tantalizing promise to those who are ADD/ADHD and Bipolars. He posits in the book the theory that Leonardo Da Vinci's genius resides within those who are afflicted with ADD/ADHD and Bipolar Disorder. The book is an easy read and is inspiring at best. Loporto focuses on the Energetic manifestation or mania of the "artist". He emphasizes in the book that this large store of energy can be harnessed towards higher levels of achievement in life. Levels of success comparable to those successful men he lists as present day Da Vinci's. Those who are unable to harness this energy are labeled as "neurotic artists". All they have to do is to apply the method he presents in the book.

Towards the end of the book Loporto reveals that the absence of a method is the method itself.

What the book fails to reveal and present is the nightmare the "neurotic artist" goes through when the other side - depression - dominates. The book is silent on how to deal with the depression and paranoia the "artist" goes through.

The absence of this very vital detail may be intentional or part of the revelation - the absence of a method is THE method. The book gives false hopes to those who suffer the conditions Bipolar Disorder imposes on a person.

The book offers a glimmer of hope since the reader is taught how to harness ones Manic Phase. But is sorely lacking on how to deal with the other extreme.

I have made it my purpose to fill this gap, so Depression - no matter how extreme - can be managed.


randolphski said...

Yea, it all sounds so nice and "rosie" when you think about all the evidence that suggesting that genius is linked to ADHD or Bipolar Disorder. I listened to the 15 minute bit of audio from LoPorto's book yesterday, and was initially relieved, to some degree, by his words. His descriptions of the "symptoms" of these diseases seemed to describe my personality/thought process perfectly. But just as you mentioned, I didn't hear ANYTHING about the other side of the bipolar spectrum - Depression. Most people aren't bothered by their mania-related symptoms, and I, personally tend to even enjoy the manic episodes (bouts of creativity and lack of a need for sleep). But today, for example, I am VERY restless, irritable, anxious - whatever you want to categorize it as. I have chosen not to take meds anymore because they were making me gain weight, which, ironically further contributes to my depression. I am 30 years old now, and everyday life is a struggle. I have an Associate's Degree in Architecture, but I can't seem to hold down a job once I've managed to acquire one. I feel as though all my friends and family are exhausted by my continuous struggles. If I didn't have two small children whom I live with all my heart I think I might be 6 feet under the ground by now. I think I would greatly benefit from acquiring new friends who suffer from the same things - a support group of some kind I suppose.. but I just can't bring myself to some "Bipolar Anonymous" support group meetings.. I have exhausted my friends and family.. it is a sad truth. What to do now.. it is a daily struggle.

Patrick Jerome S. Guasa said...

it's been quite some time now since i last visited my blog. i somehow got busy with a very important element in my own life. i now have some one who understands me and has accepted me for what i am. (nope, not my dog. hahahahaha) she loves me, wrinkles and all.

i will continue blogging . . . again.

steevo said...

Really glad I did some research before purchasing the Davinci book. I was recently diagnosed with bipolar, Suffered with depresssion since I was 6 yrs old and am now 58yrs. I am fairly eager to find out more information on how to best handle the situation. The book sounded very attractive, however gut feeling wasnt right.And your blogs confirm my feelings. Thanks guys.