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Was John bipolar???
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13 October 2011
6.56pm
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seaglass eyes sunny smile
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13 October 2011
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meanmistermustard
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14 October 2011
7.06pm
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seaglass eyes sunny smile
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"Into the Sky with Diamonds" said:

Bipolar is to a certain extent a modern term for manic depressive.

Lennon was certainly enthusiastic with every new cause, but I don't know that he was manic; and although he was a tortured soul, I don't know that he was depressive.

But yes, he wasn't "normal" in a statistical sense of the word.

And of course drugs can muddy any mind.

I was using bipolar as the most current term for that disorder, yes. I do think he was in fact depressive, although the drugs did contribute to that. Manic I'm not quite so sure about. From watching videos of John, I see  pretty much on-and-off alot of overactive, extremely energetic behavior, as well as more controlled periods. It seems like this could be him having manic phases, or even some type of hyperactivity disorder, maybe ADHD. (I really do overdiagnose, don't I? Blame it on the fact that I've had the school counselor for homeroom since seventh grade) I'm pretty sure the overly energetic behavior isn't entirely drug-related, because I notice it on later stuff too.

"Now and then, though, someone does begin to grow differently. Instead of down, his feet grow up toward the sky. But we do our best to discourage awkward things like that." "What happens to them?" insisted Milo. "Oddly enough, they often grow ten times the size of everyone else," said Alec thoughtfully, "and I’ve heard that they walk among the stars." –The Phantom Tollbooth
14 October 2011
11.09pm
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seaglass eyes sunny smile
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Zig said:

I think it's a fair question. Like you say, seaglass eyes, it's opinion based unless we knew what was on his medical history. If not bipolar, maybe passive-aggressive? His turbulent background would certainly bring lesser people to their knees.

BTW, don't ever apologize for bringing up a serious topic. It will help offset my silly ones.a-hard-days-night-george-10

Part of the reason I love this site is the silly/serious combination….I'm not sure passive-agressiveness is an actual disorder though. Haven't done research on that.

EDIT: "Passive–aggressive behavior, a personality trait, is passive, sometimes obstructionist resistance to following through with expectations in interpersonal or occupational situations. It is a personality trait marked by a pervasive pattern of negative attitudes and passive, usually disavowed, resistance in interpersonal or occupational situations.

It can manifest itself as learned helplessness, procrastination, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or deliberate/repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible."

From Wikipedia…probably a reliable source, huh?a-hard-days-night-ringo-7

Also from Wikipedia  "In others, it has also been associated with creativity, goal striving, and positive achievements. There is significant evidence to suggest that many people with creative talents have also suffered from some form of bipolar disorder.[4] It is often suggested that creativity and bipolar disorder are linked."

I just remembered something from John's 1980 Playboy interview…  "I always was so psychic or intuitive or poetic or whatever you want to call it, that I was always seeing things in a hallucinatory way. It was scary as a child, because there was nobody to relate to. Neither my auntie nor my friends nor anybody could ever see what I did. It was very, very scary and the only contact I had was reading about an Oscar Wilde or a Dylan Thomas or a Vincent van Gogh– all those books that my auntie had that talked about their suffering because of their visions. Because of what they saw, they were tortured by society for trying to express what they were. I saw loneliness." Van Gogh was bipolar. Also, sometimes that disorder manifests in hallucinations. Just a thought.

Sorry, really long edit, but I kept thinking of new things.

"Now and then, though, someone does begin to grow differently. Instead of down, his feet grow up toward the sky. But we do our best to discourage awkward things like that." "What happens to them?" insisted Milo. "Oddly enough, they often grow ten times the size of everyone else," said Alec thoughtfully, "and I’ve heard that they walk among the stars." –The Phantom Tollbooth
13 November 2011
6.48am
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Between what I know of John and my fairly extensive experience with friends and other musicians with bipolar disorder, I am inclined to say very, very likely John was bipolar. Very. Actually, there's no doubt in my mind he was. It almost seems silly to me to try to deny it. If you've ever been in a band with a bipolar person who's not getting treatment, a lot of the stories about John during his Beatles days make a lot of sense. There was a lot of behavior that John exhibited, even well before he got into drugs (which IMO was just stereotypical bipolar-type self-medication in his case), which simply isn't normal for someone who doesn't have bipolar disorder, but is terribly normal for someone who does. John's issues with women, his cyclic problems with drugs and alcohol, his hypercritical attitude about his own work and hypersensitivity toward rejection and criticism from others, his bouts of withdrawal and depression, and so on. Someone above mentioned his suicidal ideation while in India–yeah, that's not normal for non-bipolar person who's just gotten clean. Go ask anyone at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting with any experience with sobriety. 

 

And I've even wondered if one of the contributing factors to the Beatles' decision to stop touring was John experiencing longer and more disabling bouts of depression and more erratic moods, which is typical of a bipolar person who is under a lot of stress and pressure for extended periods of time. When I read Paul's recollections about John's behavior during that period, it really sounds to me like they were, either consciously or unconsciously, accommodating John, as often happens with a bipolar person in a close-knit family-like group–things end up revolving around the bipolar person's highs and lows because you're dealing with a sick individual who cannot choose to not be like that. The only ways out of that is to distance yourself from the bipolar person, which the rest of the Beatles eventually did (and even Yoko for a time), or the bipolar person gets treatment, which John never got (at least not for bipolar disorder). 

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