Brilliant Benefits of Mental Illness


Originally published on The Lithium Chronicles

I recently read an outstanding book that made the case FOR mental illness, rather than AGAINST it. Nassir Ghaemi, director of the Mood Disorders Programme at Tufts Medical Center, wrote, A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness.

Gandhi, President Kennedy, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King Jr., were examined from Ghaemi’s point of view. He made an excellent case that the mood orders of these leaders actually benefited them–becoming the best leaders the world has ever known in times of crisis.

Isn’t that phenomenal? Think about it. How many times have you felt ashamed of your mind? Ashamed of your thoughts, actions and sensitivity? If you are like me, I bet you would say, “every day.” In my article Phoenix Rising: Thriving With Depression I wrote about the struggles I have with my mind.

What do we do about it? We attend therapy. We take medication. We hide.

I would like to propose a new way of thinking. After reading this book, I believe we should celebrate our minds. Cracked, bruised, and maybe crazy–I believe our mood disorders make us shine brilliantly–like a diamond.

MY THOUGHTS ON FOUR MOOD DISORDERS AND THEIR POTENTIAL POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES HERE: