Ancient Greeks, and bipolar disorder

Hi all, today I was thinking about bipolar, and I wondered how far back in history where there was the first signs of the condition. Yep it goes back as far as Ancient Greece. Classical Greek physicians described bipolar as “mania” (a mixture of anger, rage, and euphoria) and “melancholia” (sadness).

I read that Jules Angst and Andreas Marneros wrote that they scoured ancient writings for observations regarding bipolar. They found manuscripts that revealed “morbid states of depression and exaltation” which sounds like the highs and lows of bipolar. This dates back to 460-337 BC!

Hippocrates was known as the “father of medicine” said that our brain was in charge of all mental functions and disturbances. He also said the brain is the sole organ of all pleasure, joy, laughter, and sadness. Also the brain will bring about insanity, anxiety, fears, which will creep up on us during the night or day.

We suffer from sleepless nights, we make mistakes and have worries about the slightest little thing. We end up losing the ability to recognise reality, and can’t have a social life whatsoever! Yep I can relate to all of this. I also read that Socrates and Plato described mania as a “divine state.” Plato wrote there is two types of mania, one is a “mental strain” and the second is “divine or inspired, with Apollo as the source of inspiration.” He also went on to say there is several types of divine mania, which includes “erotic inspiration” that was sent by the god of love. No wonder they were all at it like randy dogs, lol. “Protreptic inspiration that comes from Muses because that seems to inspire men to sing.

When I look at some of the most famous people from history to the present day, it makes me wonder are we all just sufferers of bipolar, or are we the chosen few?

1: King George 111

2: Ernest Hemingway

3: Vincent Van Gogh

4: Virginia Woolf

5: Winston Churchill

6: Florence Nightingale

7: Carrie Fisher

8: Buzz Aldrin

That’s just to name a few. I’m not saying I’m anything like the above famous people with bipolarity, but I’d like to think I do get inspired sometimes, even if it’s only to mow the lawn, lol. When I look at the ancient Greeks, philosophers and the famous people that may have had, or got bipolar, I think maybe we aren’t sufferers after all, maybe we just all belong to an elite club, called “bipolar disorder members only club!” Thats one way to look at it 😊👍

8 thoughts on “Ancient Greeks, and bipolar disorder

  1. When I’m hypomanic and feeling inspired, I actually feel sorry for people who never get to experience that level of energy and euphoria. This is a fascinating post. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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