Ever stay up all night working on a creative project? So excited, it's all you think about, you obsess over it and have trouble focusing on anything but. You can barely sleep - IT'S JUST SO AWESOME! Ever feel terrible when your play, show, or art opening was over? You sink down, and often think "I should be happy, but I feel awful. I'm SO sad." You can't do anything and you just want to sleep.
Sadly, when some doctors and parents see this in children, they diagnose them with bipolar disorder or ADHD. And it seems to fit the bill: states of prolonged mania or hyperactivity, sometimes followed by states of depression. It all seems unmanageable and to an unwitting parent, it is probably very frightening. So kids end up on drugs like Ritalin or Lithium and often abandon their creative activities. Meanwhile the "disease" is still not gone, just "managed"... for the time being.
Creative adults usually understand the inevitable ups and downs of creative work. Sometimes they're hard for us to handle and we HATE those times when we can't think and create. But gifted children and their parents, teachers, and doctors don't see this roller coaster as "normal" (whatever that means). So they end up on really serious drugs for perhaps no good reason, other than to make those around them more comfortable.Read More