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Art as a Kind of Therapy

Even before I knew I had bipolar disorder, I have always loved art. I used to spend my afternoons in high school (I was unschooled) wandering around the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, where I grew up. Since moving to Saint Louis for college, I have spent many mornings, afternoons and evenings in the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Pulitzer, the Contemporary Art Museum and the Sheldon Art Galleries. Something about art makes me come alive and opens my eyes to life in a way that nothing else does (though a good walk in the woods is a close second). 

EVERYBODY KNOWS ONE

 And sometimes it’s me!  Anyone who is around me when I’m in a mania knows that I’m loud, speak rapidly and make sure that everyone knows that I’m the expert on any subject that comes up.   My wife thinks that the resemblance is remarkable….                                                                    

This type of painting is my way of telling those close to me that I know how I can be and am sorry.

I hope that you got a smile from this and know at least one person that this reminds you of.

NORMAL—A look at Darren Stein’s Art Work

This week I wanted to highlight an artist who both creates art and has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. While searching the Internet I came across Darren Stein, an Australian artist and poet. Although Stein was previously diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, he was more recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II. He attributes eight new images he created as inspired by this new label.

A Song About Lithium

Today I am focusing on Evanescence’s song Lithium. Lithium is a drug sometimes associated with bipolar disorder since it has been fairly successful in helping stabilize manic and depressive episodes. Lithium was first used to treat mania in 1970. Kay Jamison wrote about the benefits of the drug in “An Unquiet Mind” stating