Is There an Upside to Mental Illness?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

woman on beach in seated meditation

Many people experience a mental illness in each year and, while a diagnosis may seem frightening or saddening, there are many ways to hold a positive perception of your mental illness. Conversations surrounding mental illness often involve challenging symptoms that affect daily life, but there are many wonderful qualities that mental illness can mean for us as well. There are several historical figures whom had a mental illness were classified as “creative geniuses” – their disorder was said to have helped them think more creatively and intelligibly.

Live Science explained a British study that involved 10 people with bipolar disorder and explored the positive ways that their disorder affected their lives. One participant stated, “I see color much more vividly than I used to…I think my access to music and art are something for which I’m grateful to bipolar for enhancing. It’s almost as if it’s a magnifying glass that sits between that and myself.” Other participants in the study stated that had it not been for their disorder, they wouldn’t have taken chances towards their goals. One participant who performed in comic theatre stated, “Had it not meant for being bipolar, there’s no chance I could have done it.” With this, mental illness sometimes gives us an opportunity to dig deeper into something we may have not noticed as much before, and may also give us the perspective we need to push forward towards our dreams.

Bipolar disorder isn’t the only mental illness with upsides; the New York Times explained the fact that Darwin utilized his depression as a clarifying force that allowed him to focus on life’s essential problems.  The Huffington Post also notes that individuals with depression often develop a sincere ability to notice when others are feeling depressed. This gift of “noticing” could mean saying a kind word or lending a hug just to help the other person feel better.

Having a mental illness does not mean that one is subjected to experiencing only painful or crippling circumstances. Annie Glynn, 3rd place in the Mental Health Poetry Contest, describes the beauty of mental illness in her poem that you can find here.





If you have a mental illness or addiction and are ready to develop life-long tools to cope with daily stressors, call us today at 888-958-7511. Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned mental health and addiction recovery treatment center located in California. We will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan that will maximize the restoration of your mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for a consultation.

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