Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How is there a link between bipolar disorder and abstract thinking?

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How do you perceive and interpret through your senses?

How does a song turn into an image?  How do images inspire a symphony?  What causes a man to speak in illustrations?  How does another man interpret the meaning of the illustration?  How does a smell evoke a memory?  How do we communicate in terms, both literal and abstract?  How do we think and feel?  All these and more fascinating questions!  Our pursuit for their answers, even if we never fully grasp them, can cause us to appreciate the way humans are wonderfully designed.

Our insight into the functioning of the human brain seems to be enhanced when there is a malfunction, when something goes wrong.  The first thing that clues us in is a combination of common sense and observation.  One such (common) anomaly arises when bipolar disorder affects an individual.  When I think of individuals who have a hard time grasping just what exactly bipolar disorder is, I am compelled to think of the time when someone made the first observations of this illness and decided to make detailed notations.  Indeed, to this day it continues to be the method of understanding what bipolar disorder is and how it affects a particular individual.  Let us for now concentrate on the link between bipolar disorder and abstract thinking.

How is there a link between bipolar disorder and abstract thinking?


  • Expression: The mood swings of bipolar disorder can put immense yet intangible pressure on thinking, emotions, and perceptions.  The result shows itself very prominently through expression - speech, paintings, writing, music.  Often, it is this bewildering attempt of trying to express intangible feelings in terms of observable objects and phenomena that necessitates the use of abstract thinking.  Is it always a conscious attempt?  Does it become a habit?  Is there a link between abstract thinking and the bipolar brain?  I find it harder to conclusively answer these questions.  I believe, the answers to the first two are more personal than to the last question.
  • Behavior: How do people display behavior?  Such a deceptively simple question!  The outward display of our beliefs, experiences, culture, background, personality, training, language, the influence of associates - all play a vital role in making up what we call, behavior.  I believe, behavior is a strong indicator of our interpretation of life - thus it can provide the bipolar mind a conscious or unconscious means of showing abstract thinking and others a chance to understand.  Behavior is an important indicator because we display behavior towards others, hence there is the consciousness of the effect it will have.  The absence of such consciousness when it results in unpretentious honesty is admirable, but when it results in hypocrisy or injury is dangerous.  Still, it gives an insight into the mind and the inhibitions.  
Expressions and behavior of one human being are what give us insight into his heart and mind.  It can well be argued that people can deliberately say what is misleading.  That is true.  But it is also true that if there is a pretense, it cannot stand the test of time.  Someone who does not have bipolar disorder cannot forever pretend to have this illness.  Conversely, those who have bipolar disorder cannot hide it forever.

For all that comes to us in the form of challenges, what is unknown, and what is unforeseen, there is one thing we can all try to do - we can try to endure.

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2 comments:

  1. Endure is a word a person with bipolar disorder would be wise to embrace if any measure of happiness and success will be obtained.

    I have been enduring bipolar disorders affliction on my mind and life for over 20 years. It is not an easy battle but to continue battling is the only way to win.

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  2. totally related to this post. i had share it on my blog. thank you for sharing the insight. gave my readers a link to your original and suggested they follow your blog. thanks so much!

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