Sunday, September 22, 2013

III. Bipolar Biotypes and Creativity

Biotype creative tendencies 

Doctors William Walsh, PhD, (2006, 2007) and Carl C Pfeiffer,  (1987, 1988), who have overseen nutrient-based treatment of approximately 20,000 psych patients each, have noted particular types of creativity associated with biotype.

Histapenia. Artistic or musical interest/creativity. (Pfeiffer 87, 88, Walsh 2006)

Histadelia.  Often perfectionist, competitive, compulsively productive and creative, highly accomplished (Pfeiffer); and frequently excels in science, business, and left brain activity. (Walsh)

Pyroluria. Pfeiffer has stated that pyrolurics are among his most original patients and that many great people were pyroluric, despite the mental anguish and physical deterioration caused by the illness.

For descriptions of these biotypes, corresponding nutrients, and relevance to bipolar, see my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder.
Get a free educational consult (by phone) when you purchase from

This is the third in a series on bipolar and creativity.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

II. Creativity / Bipolar Intersections

Temperament, cognitive style, and mood, are notably similar in "creative" individuals and bipolars (perhaps, particularly bipolar IIs). The bipolar syndrome, for example,  involves such creative characteristics as manic love of words, sexual seduction via the arts (poetry, music art, food, fashion, etc.), hypersensitivity to others, etc. (Janza 2004, Akiskal 2005, Fieve 1976, Nettle 2002, Kubie 1961)

Creatives often experience such bipolar traits as:

-- Creative surges and blocks similar to mood swings. (Kubie 1961, Fieve 1976)
-- Sudden change of mood immediately preceding creative periods (in perhaps 50%). (Jamison 1989)
-- Affective temperaments. Cylcothymia. (Nowakowska 2005)
-- Tendency to emotional problems and vulnerability. (Fieve 1976)
-- Emotional flooding; confusing, conflicting passions and ideas; unconventional or restless behavior. (Andreason 1987)
-- Overinclusive thinking, rich associations, or hypomania. (Janza 2004)
-- Reduced sleep, or sudden early waking prior to creative episodes. (Jamison 1989)
-- Unique, unconventional, eccentric, erratic perceptions. (Andreason 1987, Fieve 1976)
-- Ornamental, flamboyant (e.g., wearing red and bright colors). (Akiskal 2005)
-- Tolerance for ambiguity. (Rottenberg 2001)
-- Curiosity, risk taking, adventuresome. (Andreason 1987, Rottenberg 2001)
-- Creativity, novelty-seeking (Nowakowska 2005), impulsivity.  (Akiskal 2005)
-- Eminence, creative achievement, professional instability.  (Akiskal 2005)
-- High energy and activity. (Rottenberg 2001)
-- Excess sociability, frequent moving, different jobs. (Andreason 1987, Fieve 1976)
-- Multiple marriages. (Akiskal 2005)
-- Multiple substance abuse, addiction (Andreason, Akiskal 2005)
-- Comorbidity, irritability, anxiety, neuroticism. (Nowakowska 2005)

Taken mostly from my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder, which see, for extensive info on nutrients, herbs, allergies, toxicity, and health factors. Get a free educational consult (by phone) when you purchase from

This is the second in a series on bipolar and creativity. More in the following posts.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I. Creativity and Bipolar

The link to bipolar

A disproportionate number of bipolars (and families) experience heightened creativity, leadership, or spirituality -- more so than the rest of the population. Similarly, mood disorder is particularly common among individuals classically recognized as creative (Janza 2004) and may help inspire and drive the poet, playwright, or musician. (Fieve 1976)

Some of the research

In an extensive review of historical observations, biographies, scientific surveys, and psychiatric evaluations, Janza (2004) found bipolar symptoms more frequent in the "creative." Moreover, during intense creative expression, artists and writers often report hypomanic symptoms (Janza 2004), and most seem to experience a mood/creativity interaction. (Andreason 1987, Fieve 1976)

In a survey of 47 British writers and artists, Kay Jamison, PhD, (1989) found the greatest prevalence of psychiatric conditions in poets, then writers. Half the poets, two-thirds of the playwrights, 20% of biographers, 13% of painters had been treated for depression. 17% of poets had been treated for mania. All poets, novelists, and artists, 88% of playwrights, and 20% of biographers experienced intense creative episodes characterized by enthusiasm, euphoria, high energy, confidence, fast mental associations, and fluid thought. 63% of playwrights had been treated for mood disorder. 38% of the entire group had received treatment for affective illness (a rate six times that of the general population); one third of the group had severe mood swings; one fourth, intense elated mood states, 50% had taken psychiatric medications, 20% had been previously hospitalized, and 90% reported creative highs lasting an average of two weeks (a typical span for manic elation). (Jamison 1989)

Similarly, Andreason (1987) found substantially greater affective illness, particularly bipolar disorder, among 30 writers (teachers at the University of Iowa creative writing workshop) studied over 15 years. 80% had experienced a mood episode (compared to 30% in controls); 37%, major depression (17%  in controls); 30%, alcoholism (7%, controls). Most wrote during normal mood. First degree relatives also showed greater affective disorder and creativity.

In Arnold M Ludwig's biographical survey of 1005 famous persons in the 20th century, rates of psychosis, suicide attempts, mood disorder, drug and alcohol use were two-to three fold greater in writers and artists than in people successful in business, science or public life. Mania and suicide occurred most in poets. Writers and relatives had very high rates of bipolar psychosis.

Taken mostly from my book, Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder, which see, for extensive info on nutrients, herbs, allergies, toxicity, and health factors. Get a free educational consult (by phone) when you purchase from

More on bipolar and creativity in the following posts.