Are Those Who Suffer From Bipolar Disorder Naturally More Creative?

Last updated on March 4th, 2024 at 10:24 pm

A woman with bipolar disorder sitting on a rock with a cup of coffee.

Having bipolar disorder is no walk in the park. So, it’s no wonder that most individuals struggling with bipolar disorder choose to get professional help. While it presents its fair share of difficulties and roadblocks, sometimes it’s best to see the brighter side of things. It turns out, those with bipolar disorder may naturally have a creative streak! Here’s why.

Increase in Racing Thoughts

During periods of mania, those with bipolar disorder may experience racing thoughts and an increase in mental energy that are difficult to control. Often, these racing thoughts may be fueled by a state of intense euphoria and increased motivation.

With more thoughts and feelings coming out at a time, one may notice that these are the moments when they are most creative. They have more ideas, perspectives, and visions to consider, whether it be for a piece of artwork or for a work-related project.

However, when facing a depressive episode, those diagnosed with bipolar disorder tend to deal with the polar opposite: a decrease in mental activity.


While seeing or hearing things that aren’t there can be deemed scary, those diagnosed with bipolar disorder may find that hallucinations can help power their creativity. Hallucinations are essentially the mind bringing our subconscious mind to life, which in many cases may only come out while in a hallucinatory state.

These hallucinations may be beneficial when it comes to the arts- writing, acting, painting, drawing, you name it. While this may seem exciting, it’s still critical that the hallucinations are taken care of with proper bipolar disorder treatment. Hallucinations can lead to fear, paranoia, delusions, and even dangerous behaviors.

Lack of Sleep

During mania episodes, those with bipolar may stay awake for days on end. While lack of sleep and sleep disturbance have been proven to be harmful on one’s physical and mental wellbeing, sleep deprivation can trigger more creativity in some individuals. This is called creative insomnia. However, in others, better quality sleep often results in better creativity.

Intense Emotions

A big part of bipolar disorder is dealing with periods of extreme highs and extreme lows: mania and depression. These strong emotions can be quite draining for both the person diagnosed as well as those around them. However, one thing is for sure: these intense emotions can also have their benefits.

With stronger emotions and a wider range of different emotions, those diagnosed with bipolar disorder may have the ability to put more sentiment into artwork and other projects. After all, they’re more likely to be able to properly depict different emotions that we may struggle to represent in a visual or even verbal way.

Clearly, increased creativity is a possible perk of those diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but it’s still important to get this condition well-managed. What is bipolar treatment?, You might ask? Getting help often involves a combination of therapy and medication to get the symptoms under control.


While bipolar disorder typically requires professional-level help, research has shown a possible link between bipolar mania and high creativity. This finding is useful as it may be able to be implemented alongside bipolar treatment programs and general management of the condition.

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