post A Day in the Life of a Cyclothymic reminded me of Kay Redfield Jamison's 'Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and The Artistic Temperament.' [note to self: don't forget to use the Artistic Temperament card in next disagreement with husband] Here's a blurb from the book jacket--
"Touched with Fire is a fine and artfully written work. Kay Jamison is plainly among the few who have a profound understanding of the relationship that exists between art and madness," --William Styron.
The good news is that you don't have to be 'mad' to be a writer, the interesting news is that a good many writers, poets in particular, have one of the lesser types of madness found on the manic-depressive spectrum: cyclothymia.
'The path over which it swings is a wide one, namely between cheerfulness and unhappiness...'
'...but many of these cheerful natures have, when we get to know them better, a permanent melancholic element somewhere in the background of their being...'
'In typical cases such alternative cycles will last a lifetime. In cyclothymic artists, musicians, and other creative workers the rhythm of the cycles can be read from the dates of the beginning and cessation of productive work....Some cyclothymics have a seasonal rhythm and have learned to adapt their lives and occupations so well to it that they do not need medical attention.'
The only thing that worries me a bit is that Jamison almost romanticizes manic depression, not quite, but almost. Still, it’s a fascinating book.