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Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament -Key Redfield Jamison


It is a cliché image that most people have of artists, authors, musicians, as being mercurial, in their own world, and caught up in flights of imagination. For instance, the figure of one poet sitting alone in the corner of a bar/restaurant, brooding, filling his/her body with alcohol, and writing the most beautiful “depressive” poetry isn’t a strange image to many. The image of a painter suddenly becoming erratic and jumping upon his/her canvas with many colors and going with the flow of a rushed mind isn’t also a strange image to many. That said, something peculiar is to be noted: While such image might seem as old as time, there is a much more ominous fact behind it. Many of these people might be suffering from a very serious mental illness that is Bipolar Disorder/Manic-depressive illness, and such illness in one way or another played a key a role in the artistic production. Manic depression is a very serious mood disorder that isn’t to be taken lightly. From elation to utter misery, from feeling divinity to considering yourself the scum of the earth, from possible delusions, psychosis and hallucinations, many people suffer from it and it affects greatly their lives. This is what Key Redfield Jamison’s book tackles. Jamison, a world renowned clinical psychologist and professor of psychiatry who is a specialist on the illness (She also suffers from it as well. To that, I really recommend you all to read her memoir An Unquiet Mind to get the perspective of the specialist and the patient at the same time) does a monumental in task in going through the lives and works of many, many famous artists who suffered from this illness and other mood disorders to see how it played a key role in their production. Focusing mainly on the lives of poets such as Lord Byron and Robert Lowell (though many, many other figures are addressed as well), Jamison wants to show us how the illness pas a monumental mechanism in inspiring these artists’ production.

Not every artist is mentally ill, and not every mentally ill artist will end up “benefiting” from the illness. Though what Jamison shows is that in a high percentage of artists, they in which their brain was configured to view the world contributed hugely to them being the artists they were, and one could only wonder if we’ll every have their same famous works if manic depression wasn’t part of their lives. A manic depressive poet, for instance, processes emotions in a different way once the episode strikes. If a person was highly imaginative, then a manic episode could boost his/her brain to 11 and all of a sudden a huge flight of ideas and thoughts will be produced, and this will eventually be shown in the poet’s work. That doesn’t mean the illness in itself is positive. It does cause misery. Her analysis of Byron’s life and his struggle with the illness is an example of this point. That said, the connection can’t be ignored. This is a very dense book. While it’s not that long (it’s less than 300 pages), it wasn’t an easy. I read it at several sessions. And while it does offer a very interesting insight into the functioning of the manic depressive mind, it might not be, in my opinion, the best introduction to understanding this disorder. But once you get your start, I really recommend it!

That said, it struck a personal note for me. As a person who struggles with bipolar disorder since years, my life was greatly affected by the illness. I can relate to how the episodes, in one way or another, show light at the end of the tunnel with positive consequences. Yet it did, and still does, cause me misery. So I ask myself an important question that Jamison evokes at the end of the book. If ever I had the chance to return back in time and just “delete” the gene that causes the illness… will I? I always ponder this, and I guess I will never really know.

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Don’t be so easygoing

Innocence always gonna hurt you.

Nothing is wrong to see light In anyone.

Just be ready for darkness walks along with it

Kill your innocent before It burns your soul.

For once in your life dare to walk on fire,

And believe storm you carry inside

Cry out ,be loud,be fucking Everything thing you want

Sometime it’s worth to fight with your shadow

Don’t fall every thing, world is not as beautiful

As your eyes are.

You want to believe in Pure heart,

But God is nothing without devil existence.

So turn your every mercy Into ashes for those who Don’t deserve.

I know you have still hope to place for your Innocence, But inside everyone demon lives.

You gotta fight someday when yours comes out,

Turn it off before it controls you.

………Krishna Patel

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Private Life of a Cat (1947)

Alexander Hammid and Maya Deren

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As an artist in Rap, I always looked for the best of opportunities, I wanted to see the world and do things my way, and my way only, I wanted to show them what I could do……. that is… until I died….. now I’m in hell… why?…. well I was born in a Christian family… but I never took on the roll of being a good Christian, so to speak, and never did my work for the lord… or had faith in him and Christ… well….. either way…. i still have a shot, to show them all who I really am!! And who am i…..?

I am balgar Bazanji


Here He is!!!! One of the three characters of my OC for Hazbin Hotel, I’ve been meaning to draw him ad well as two others recently, but work and shiz ya know.

Welp, guess ges ready to meet some people!!

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