Creativity & The Bipolar Brain

Years ago now (which I can’t believe) I was honored to be asked to do an exhibit on behalf of the Diversability Committee at the Chicago Public Library (where I work) celebrating awareness of bipolar disorder. One of my colleagues publicized it by making a blog post and a very well-intentioned admin called me before it was published on the site and asked me, “Are you okay with them saying you have bipolar disorder?” I realize it came from a place of concern about privacy and perhaps liability as well. But I told her yes, I had written that, and the point of the art exhibition was to highlight disabilities, including mental disabilities. Again, while I believe it was well-intentioned, it demonstrated to me that there’s still a stigma in society when it comes to revealing invisible disabilities and mental health disorders. https://www.chipublib.org/…/mythical-creatures-art…/

Flash forward to today. Today I am in a whole exhibit where not only do all the artists have bipolar disorder, but the whole darn thing is a celebration of creativity and the bipolar brain! How far we’ve come. There is still stigma but I believe that we are truly breaking ground if something like this can exist, which would not have been possible years ago.

Progress.

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