Recently, I started reading Dennis Palumbo's Writing from the Inside Out: Transforming Your Psychological Blocks to Release the Writer Within. The back of the book says Palumbo is a licensed psychotherapist, but I sure wouldn't want him as my therapist.
Bipolar disorder shows up at a rate of about 1% in the general population, and at about 5-15% in the general population. But poets, fiction writers, and musical performers have an astronomically significant bipolar rate of 70-77%. And that's actual data, not someone's opinion, so you can't just "disagree" with it.
Clearly, then, there is a very striking relationship between bipolar disorder and creative writing. We don't actually know if one causes the other or if they're both caused by some third factor (like shared genes), but we do know there's a relationship in many people. The data says so, right there.
Palumbo, still running on the (incorrect) idea that Jamison said that all creativity is caused by bipolar disorder, argues that it is "ludicrous" to "claim that the creative impulse comes from any one source...because it undervalues the mysterious, indefinable aspects of the creative act." Then he quotes author John Fowles: " For what good science tries to eliminate, good art seeks to provoke--mystery, which is lethal to one, and vital to the other."
So this guy Palumbo does therapy. But he doesn't read his research carefully enough to understand what it says. Then he tells us it says something it doesn't. Then he says we should ignore what the data says, because science is anathema to art.
So where does that leave all the creative people who are struggling with bipolar disorder? Many, many creative people are afraid to be treated for their psychological problems because they're afraid to lose their creativity. Palumbo is feeding that myth, even as he suggests that maybe they're not sick at all. It infuriates me that Palumbo takes a phenomenon that's well-supported by research and tells us all we're foolish to believe in it, to just get over ourselves.
Clearly HE's never struggled with a mental illness!
A good therapist not only recognizes that some creative people do struggle with mental illness, she appreciates that treating the illness will often improve the person's ability to share his creativity with the world. She is also sensitive to how important creativity is to the individual, and if a medication or a therapeutic approach interferes with creative output, she's going to try to find an alternative.