Bipolar Treatment with Art and Music

Articles and blog posts relating to the treatment of bipolar disorder through the creative arts - music, dance and visual and performing arts. Bipolar Support for Creative People with Bipolar Disorder

Blogs and Articles

The Emotional Art of Derek Hess

bp Magazine
April 5, 2019

Internationally known visual artist Derek Hess uses his personal struggle with bipolar and alcoholism to creatively express the raw intensity of the human experience. If ever there were a way to tap into the human psyche and lay it bare for all to see, celebrated visual artist Derek Hess has found the key. Indeed, the...

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The Sound of Hope: Why Music Fosters Acceptance & Optimism

bp Magazine
January 4, 2019

During a hospitalization, an entrepreneur with bipolar disorder discovers how music can create a shared community and a way forward in difficult times.   As a touring musician in my 20s, I enjoyed many wonderful times. But as I look back, it’s actually a sing-along in a mental health clinic that to this day is...

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The Truth About the Link Between Bipolar Mania and Creativity

Donna Jackel
January 4, 2019

Recent research is yielding insights into the links between bipolar disorder and creativity—and not just artistic accomplishment, but also innovative thinking and entrepreneurship.   Author Virginia Woolf saw her artistry and her mood extremes as being inextricably linked. In a letter to a friend in 1930, she wrote of her “madness” that “in its lava,...

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Discovering Secret to Hope Through Music and Community

Christopher Bullard
March 12, 2018

At times it may be difficult to remain optimistic with a bipolar diagnosis, but glimpses of hope exist if you keep your eyes and ears open. As both an entrepreneur and a touring musician, my twenties provided many moments of privilege. But as I look back, it’s actually a sing-along in a mental health clinic...

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Telling The Truth About My Private Battle With Bipolar

Vincent Scarpa
October 2, 2017

After finding himself in a nonfiction writing course shortly after his bipolar diagnosis, one young man discovers the cathartic power of personal narrative. By Vincent Scarpa   A month after my first manic episode, I found myself in an undergraduate nonfiction writing workshop. Which was odd, as what I had gone to college to write...

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Kay Redfield Jamison Explores Bipolar Depression and the Poetry of Robert Lowell

bp Magazine
October 1, 2017

Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD returns to the topic of how mania, depression and creativity connect in her latest book about the poet Robert Lowell.   It’s impossible to summarize the achievements of Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD. Instead, a few highlights: Holder of an endowed professorship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Inspirational role...

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Bipolar & Creativity: Mania vs. the Muse

Hakeem Rahim
July 28, 2016

One man’s story about his passion for writing, his fear of medicating his mood, and keeping his creativity I tiptoed into the packed, dimly lit performance studio for my first ever spoken word poetry event. My eyes adjusted quickly and my ears opened to a deep, booming voice: “When you and I tango, winter smiles.” Around the room, the audience swayed....

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Living With Bipolar: iTherapy

Allison Strong
May 27, 2016

My iTunes crashed.   Not only that, my CD player is broken. It’s been months since I’ve made a fresh tape. Buzzkill!     ‘Fresh’ doesn’t always mean new.  It can be something I haven’t heard in ages, like Johnny Cash’s farewell cover of  Nine Inch Nails’ “beware of me” anthem, “Hurt.” Everyone has a different tune...

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“Touched With Fire” Movie—Finding the Beauty in Bipolar

Stephanie Stephens
January 5, 2016

Director and screenwriter Paul Dalio’s feature film takes a hard and gritty look at love, mania, creative inspiration, and making peace with bipolar. By Stephanie Stephens   After Paul Dalio was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he struggled to understand what it meant. Was he irretrievably broken, or should he welcome mania as a gift granting...

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VIDEO: “Touched With Fire” Trailer—New Movie on Bipolar Disorder

bp Magazine
January 5, 2016

Watch the trailer for the new movie by director and screenwriter, Paul Dalio. His feature film, starring Katie Holmes, takes a hard and gritty look at love, mania, creative inspiration, and making peace with bipolar.     This dramedy stars Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby as a couple, both living with bipolar disorder, who meet in a...

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BIPOLAR CREATIVITY- When Creativity Leaves, Have Patience

Beth Brownsberger Mader
August 22, 2015

Many people with bipolar disorder are gifted with extraordinary creativity but what happens when the creative well runs dry? By Beth Brownsberger Mader   I suddenly thought of this topic while doing my morning yoga sun salutations. I was bending over, palms to the floor, observing through sleepy eyes my dusty area rug, pondering nothing....

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Bipolar Mental Health Advocate Video

Bipolar, RUSH, and the Healing Power of Music

Karl Shallowhorn
June 19, 2015

“A tired mind become a shape-shifter Everybody need a mood lifter Everybody need reverse polarity Everybody got mixed feelings About the function and the form Everybody got to deviate from the norm.” Vital Signs Today is a special day. Not only is it my birthday, but I’m also traveling to Toronto, Canada to see my...

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Envisioning Your Future: Bipolar Recovery

Victoria Maxwell
January 27, 2015

It’s common to do it during the first couple weeks of January. Even the end of January. But I say, humbug to common practice! I say do it any time of the year. You can do it by yourself, with a friend, even in groups. Seriously. I’ve done it all. I particularly like to do...

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My Story: Bipolar & One Life In Focus

Robin L. Flanigan
August 7, 2014

Wendy interprets her moods and memories through the lens of her camera.   By Robin L. Flanigan   In some of her photographs, North Carolina shutterbug Wendy spotlights a Chevrolet Bel Air that reminds her of the older-model cars her grandparents drove when she was a little girl. She sees a connection between one picture...

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Shelby Tweten: Candid Recovery

Linda Childers
August 7, 2014

For Shelby Tweten, the TV talent show ‘American Idol’ became a national springboard to fight stigma By Linda Childers   When Shelby Tweten sang “Temporary Home” at the American Idol auditions, she brought pop diva Jennifer Lopez to tears. There’s something fitting about that, because music has always been Shelby’s outlet for oversized emotions she...

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Bipolar & The Power Of Medicinal Music

Ian Grey
September 7, 2012

Never deny the power of music and how it can improve your mood and ease your mind. By Ian G.   I was about 14 when I had my first screaming, flailing, world-turned-upside-down terror attack. Sitting in the bedroom of my parents’ GI Bill house, I felt a bolt of noxious energy turn the air...

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Meg’s Story of Music & Mania

Robin L. Flanigan
February 1, 2011

How her art and music helped her mood, career, and recovery By Robin L. Flanigan   Meg  had been dealing with almost annual periods of depression for eight years, increasingly followed by bouts of elation and supercharged energy when, in May 2006, the acoustic musician went on a whirlwind European tour. She played ten shows...

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Amanda’s Story: Healing Bipolar Disorder Through Music

Robin L. Flanigan
November 1, 2009

Insights on how a woman uses her talent for singing as therapy for her bipolar disorder.   Amanda remembers how difficult it was to be onstage at the Elbow River Casino in Calgary two days after Michael Jackson died. Still grieving the passing of one of her childhood heroes, the professional singer felt “heavy as lead...

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Bipolar Disorder Goes Hollywood

Stephanie Stephens
August 1, 2009

Well researched by writers, meticulously ordered by directors and ethically acted, roles for characters with bipolar disorder pepper the screen.   By Stephanie Stephens   It’s the moment of unwelcome truth for Detective Elliot Stabler’s character on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Tension mounts in the scene in his daughter Kathleen’s hospital room:...

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The Pen is Mightier Than Bipolar: Ysabel’s Story

Michelle Roberts
January 1, 2008

Ysabel is able to use her talent for writing to channel her bipolar thoughts- while blogging on important global issues.   By Michelle Roberts   Ysabel G. is no shrinking violet. That simple fact comes through loud and clear on her Web blog entitled “Empowering minds.” There, the 27-year-old college student fearlessly voices her thoughts...

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