Log in

No account? Create an account
Someone explain to me: Is it just me, but do the most manic of manic… - Psychiatric Nursing [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Psychiatric Nursing

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

[Jan. 23rd, 2007|11:53 am]
Psychiatric Nursing


Someone explain to me:

Is it just me, but do the most manic of manic of manic (hehe) bipolar patients seem to be bordering on extreme intelligence or what? I wonder if there really is that fine line between genius and insanity? It seems like the most manic patients I have ever had are EXTREMELY intelligent, but just can't seem to place the knowledge that they have in an usuable form.

Some of you seasoned psych people help me out here!

[User Picture]From: siren_of_psych
2007-01-23 06:13 pm (UTC)
There is a VERY high correlation between high intelligence between both bipolar d/o and the schizophrenias. One of God's little practical jokes, perhaps. (Not a religious person, here ;-)

What I think you are missing or perhaps I am misinterpreting is the idea that those people with these disorders have the ability to be what they are or are not.

It's no different than telling a person with depression to "snap out of it."

Many, many people who suffer from bipolar disorder are very successful people who have relapses in their illnesses.

Hope this helped at least a bit. Not sure if it was what you were looking for.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: auryn24
2007-01-23 06:27 pm (UTC)
What I think you are missing or perhaps I am misinterpreting is the idea that those people with these disorders have the ability to be what they are or are not.

I'm not sure what you interpreted from my post, but I am strictly referring to bipolar patients who have been off meds, and cannot function in society due to their manic state...not bipolar patients, in general. I have friends as well who are high functioning, successful folks. However, when we get patients who have been off of meds for awhile and are really manic, they can't even complete a simple task. These are the patients I am referring to...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: slashfairy
2007-01-23 07:06 pm (UTC)
Just because someone's very bright doesn't mean they can make their brightness function for themselves.

There is data (some of it dating from the 1940s, some more recent) marking a correlation between intelligence and manic-depressive or bipolar disorder. There is also data correlating inability to harness even average intelligence to functional living abilities in the un- or under- or inappropriately-medicated person with m/d-bipolar disorder.

The phrase "a fine line between genius and insanity" gives the impression of a thought that there is a straight line between a category called 'genius' at one end of the line and a category called 'insanity' at the other. I believe a more useful image is of a semi-permeable membrane between insanity and other states (creativity, intellectual intelligence, emotional intelligence, what have you), although that is not completely accurate in conveying the intent (as I interpret it) of your question.

There's also a difference between hyper-distractedness and mania, in my experience. Hyper-distractedness is about not being able to hold still long enough (in thought or deed) to completely connect one thing with another, mania (a mood or set of or plane of moods) about how one feels during any given moment or set of moments.

Or so it seems to me based on experience, literature review, and observation.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: fireangel_999
2007-01-24 03:05 pm (UTC)
In my personal experience (I know, the dreaded phrase of nursing), I am very drawn to intelligent people. I have known several people whom I'd put in the "genius" category and I agree with you. I would at least say that it seems that the more intelligence a person has, the more socially stunted they are. I have always thought that people who are too intelligent have a really hard time functioning in the mainstream. Their minds are just on a totally different planet than most.

I think one of the reasons why bipolar people might be more successful and smart is that during the manic phases they are very motivated to accomplish things and have all that energy to get stuff done. Also that energy, assuming that it doesn't come out as rage, can make them very charismatic and likeable.

There are so many varying degrees of it that people seem to really hone in on the ones that get in trouble with the law... the really extreme cases. Even those that aren't medicated can still function and succeed in many things that would tire out most. Maybe that's why so many go undiagnosed.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)