Thursday, May 05, 2011

Manic Creativity, Depressed Analyticism

An interesting piece of research shows that depression actually has cognitive benefits: "depression may promote analytical reasoning and persistence -- that is, qualities useful in complex tasks." Overall, "depressed individuals perform better than their non-depressed peers in sequential decision tasks."

For bipolar people, mania often correlates with a great deal of creative output.

Artists very often are mildly bipolar. Too much mania or depression are debilitating, but both in moderation seem to create artists. And, as it turns out, depression seems to promote analytical reasoning. It seems that a fully self-aware mildly bipolar individual could take advantage of each in their work -- focusing on creative endeavours when manic and analytical endeavours when depressed. Such a person might make for a good scholar with such a division of labor, with it brought together when both tasks are done.
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