‘J’ is a 70 year old, well-educated, former college-level teacher and engineer who came to Macdonald Carey over 5 years ago. He has suffered through a myriad of difficulties in his marriage, health, financial situation and mental health. Unfortunately, although highly creative and intelligent, he suffers from bipolar disorder – which is not uncommon among highly gifted and creative people.
There have been many famous historical figures with high creative talent that were likely affected by bipolar disorder. In many instances, creativity and psychopathology share some common features, such as a busy mind that can connect disparate ideas and concepts.
In J’s case, highly stressful situations in his personal life would feed the mood instability and send him into the throes of mania which would manifest in uncontrollable, racing thoughts and severe sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation, in turn, would exacerbate all the accompanying symptoms, not the least of which were his suicidal thoughts and impulses.
Since entering treatment, he has gotten on the right regimen of medications and gone off many of his other medications intended to treat his autoimmune disorder. In addition, he has started a vigorous physical training program and works out 5 days a week. In the past 6 months he has lost 35 pounds and states that he feels better now than he did when he was 30. His mood is more stable and he rarely has difficulty with the racing thoughts and insomnia. What has also emerged is a new sense of optimism about his life, due in part to his closer relationship with his daughter and granddaughter. He is now considering a return to teaching.