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.