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Think Out Loud

Writing About Life With Bipolar Disorder

Pete Springer/OPB

When cartoonist Ellen Forney was about to turn 30, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She had mixed feelings about the revelation. She felt like the diagnosis let her into the “members only crazy artist club,” but she worried that if she began to medicate, she might lose everything that drove her creativity.

Panel from Marbles

Over the next few years, Forney struggled with constantly shifting medications, periods where she couldn’t get off the couch, and creative stagnation.

Eventually, she got better, though she still struggles with the mood disorder. She remembers her early years with the diagnosis in her new book, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me.

Do you have experience with bipolar disorder? How do you cope with it? What should other people know about the condition?

art bipolar depression ellen forney graphic novel marbles

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OPB | Broadcast: Nov. 12, 2012