Often those who suffer mental illness are stigmatized, regardless, most with less severe conditions like bipolar or major depression can maintain a somewhat normal life with vigilance and awareness.  People don’t choose to have the particular illness and often must learn to cope in a world of normalcy and routine if they want to remain in society.  For some, this can be major challenge, for others with practice, they fall into order with those that are considered “sane”.  The options for the nonfunctioning can be life-draining, home-bound isolation receiving government checks, family dependence, or probably the most feared, being in Americas still less than human institutions.  On top of this, these two conditions, bipolar and major depression, the individuals who have them are often more prone to addiction for self-medicating.  It turns out that there are two serious problems to deal with.  What can be the positive for this despair and pain in these certain individuals?  It is my opinion, that some who are instilled with this darkness have certain “sparks of madness”.  This is not to say that those without any illness cannot be incredible artists. The release of the discomfort, whether onto a canvass, a book, or in so other many artistic endeavors is one of the positives, admittedly, most would probably choose normalcy over that.  If there is any doubt, one can just look at history to find the many examples of the “insane” artists.  If you have any condition that affects your mental health, it is possible that you have untapped artistic gifts that are waiting to be uncovered or you just need to take action.  The pain, chaos, or many other emotions can be turned into beautiful works for others to enjoy or more importantly for you to enjoy.  I don’t believe that people suffer without reason and one way to ease the suffering and find some meaning in the turmoil just might be through creating.

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