Poe had a Bipolar Disorder!

greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I came across this little piece of information in my Psychology reading. Poe suffered from a Bipolar Disorder, part of that makes the person more creative and they get on energy sprees (manic episode) and they are able to write like hell and also not sleep sometimes. Writers who rely more on emotion expression and vivid imagery are more likely to have a Bipolar Disorder, like Poe. Then they will become incredible depressed again, as Poe often was. I had no idea! It explains so much of his work. It puts a totally different look on his works and life, it explains why something’s happened, it probably also was in the family like most depression does.

As we read his writing and see the creativity that they encompass was also see many common themes that are related to his major depression that the disorder caused. Such as insanity, murder, pride, beauty, love and irony, which can be found in “The Black Cat.”

For those that have to analyze his work this is valuable information.

If you are interested the text book that I found this in it is-

Exploring Psychology by David G. Myers Publisher - Worth Publishers: 2002 Chapter 13: Psychological Disorders page 479 - 480

-- Anonymous, May 09, 2002


A lot of astute guesswork based on documented data has been applied to Poe. As with any historical character when applying judgments unknown at his time across a thin paper trail it is worth speculating but not go overboard. I only mention this because one of the first biographies to lay into Poe(the author plainly disliked Poe and all his works)used every psycholigical label in the book. You can get a sense of Poe's character and mind and relate it to his life and times without having to get dogmatic about possible diagnoses, impossible to confirm.

Also it is possible that only part of Poe and his works is being examined, reducing the limited evidence still further to protect the hypothesis.

-- Anonymous, May 09, 2002

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