BipolART: Art and Bipolar Disorder: A Personal Perspective by Denys N. Wheatley

By Denys N. Wheatley

Written with disarming honesty via a long term patient of bipolar illness, with greater than part a century’s event of intervention and therapy, this hugely own quantity lines the effectiveness of a remedy modality for psychological disorder that has won a lot flooring some time past 20 years: paintings. the writer started to use artwork, and particularly doodling, from 1998 as a manner of externalizing his emotions. Its expressiveness, accessibility and energy-efficiency was once splendid to the catatonia he skilled throughout the bouts of melancholy which are a function of bipolar sickness, whereas because the low moods lifted and his power surged, he accomplished extra bold and intricate works. in addition to being hugely eclectic, Wheatley’s assembled oeuvre has afforded him either insights and healing intervention into his , as soon as deemed hugely debilitating and taboo, yet even more socially authorised now that renowned victims reminiscent of Stephen Fry have mentioned their reviews of the situation. After a gap account of the way the pictures have been generated, the amount reproduces a ‘gallery’ of chosen paintings, after which bargains a longer epilogue examining the art’s connections with the sickness in addition to the author’s overview of the way each one try out at visible self-expression used to be, for him, a healing intervention. Wheatley, a phone biologist who has loved a whole profession in melanoma learn, has had no formal education in artwork, but his haunting images, a lot of them equivalent to lifestyles types, are delivered to lifestyles by way of his perceptive, self-aware observation. This publication could be of curiosity to psychologists and psychiatrists one of the wider scientific career in addition to humans struggling with any kind of bipolar ailment regardless of the severity.

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Sample text

To anyone in deep depression, doodling can be a useful form of therapy. For some of us, it might become habitual, leading on to it becoming a very stylized and formal kind of art, as seen in Chapter 4 and beyond. The images were the result of my fascination with what was emerging as time went by over the years, and I resorted to this practice whenever I fell into a deep depression. Latterly, as mentioned above, I have started doodling before becoming depressed rather than leaving things until I have reached the pits.

Little infills were also being added (solid black and light grey areas, done with 3B and 2H pencils, respectively). First Example 21 Things were now “taking shape”, which is paradoxical because the whole idea of a doodle is that it is not supposed to be representative of anything in particular. However, it does begin to acquire a form of its own that seems to direct the artist towards an end-point that can consolidate the overall pattern. All sorts of motifs seemed to be emerging, and some no doubt would be chosen in my mind that would help develop the doodle.

It has become something separate from the self, but nevertheless with hidden connections that can run quite deep. One can also see something different in it each time it is viewed. Furthermore, other people will see and “interpret” your doodle in totally different ways. Herein lies the fascination of doodling; it cannot help but give some insight into the mind of the artist, both as a personal reflection, and as a statement that others can see and respond to accordingly as they might wish. Thus it also reflects the viewer’s mind!

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