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Divine madness

             When you first think of the words psychological disorder one of the first things to pop into your mind might be the images of a crazed person in a straight jacket diagnosed with schizophrenia or the calm chilling stare of a Hannibal Lecter through the eyes of a face mask. Either way, if you"re like most people you probably saw the more worse things that are generally associated with the thought of those two words. We tend to forget that some of the most masterful writings, most recognized works of art, and most creative masterpieces were the product of an individual with a psychological disorder. Bipolar disorder in particular is referred to as a "divine madness," a disorder that brings an onslaught of emotion that inspires many of the finer works of art that we know today.
             "Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore"" is forever burned into my memory as one of the greatest poems of all time and I"m sure is at least familiar to many, many others. This great poem and other greats were all the work of a man who suffered from bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a rare mood disorder that is characterized by having increasing states of euphoria and wild fluctuations and then having a hard crash into a deep state of depression and hopelessness. Edgar Allen Poe's state of mind can easily be seen in most of his writings as dark, hopeless, and filled with death; such as one would feel when in the depression stage of being bipolar. But his pieces, though first published long ago, are still being taught and studied in schools and are still inspirations to many, many writers. It seems that because he did suffer from this disorder that he was able to write such great pieces with so much feeling and emotion.
             Paintings such as "The Starry Night" or "Starlight Over the Rhone" may not ring a bell right away but I"m sure that you have seen them before in an art class or museum. These paintings by Vincent Van Gogh set the stage for the direction of a new style of painting called Expressionism.

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