“My friend, who is a published author, said a lot of the reason we can do what we do is not necessarily in spite of [having bipolar], it’s because of,” explains Steve, 54, a licensed insurance agent who founded a statewide organization of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).
The widely publicized book argues that because leaders with depression or bipolar disorder have stronger qualities of empathy, realism, creativity and resilience, they are better equipped for times of crisis.
There’s times when the racing thoughts and the tangential thinking and the pressured speech can get you into a lot of trouble, but also it can help you sell things—that’s my background, sales and customer service—and be able to problem-solve.
“If you leverage it properly and don’t go overboard, it’s amazing the things you can do.” Steve believes that traits associated with his bipolar I helped him create and run the nonprofit Brain Storm Career Services for Psychiatric Disability, a subsidiary of DBSA Colorado Inc., while holding down a day job.
“This is just my own kind of pet theory,” explains Sara, 39, “that it confers personality characteristics …
drive, ambition, energy, enthusiasm and self-confidence. And when you’re well, those things come across in a positive, pro-social way.” Of course, Sara knows all about the “life-trashing” side of bipolar.