Did Winston Churchhill have bipolar disorder?

Feb 2019
905
Pennsylvania, US
It's also the case that people with Bipolar generally can drink quite a lot without being affected by alcohol. That would go a long way in explaining his drinking habits...
This may vary from person to person, I think, and may even have more to do with the severity of the case and current phase being experienced...
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
This may vary from person to person, I think, and may even have more to do with the severity of the case and current phase being experienced...
Maybe. The person I know with it can drink quite a lot irrespective of phase (much more than could be expected of someone with that bodysize), but you're right - the causation doesn't have to be entirely clear cut.
 
Feb 2019
905
Pennsylvania, US
There is even a case to be made that you can have bipolar, and if you manage it well chances are higher you might be an incredibly inspiring, history-making person.
Definitely. If you are talking battles and moves/counter moves, you need to have moments of high energy and quick thinking... a hypomanic or even manic state could be harnessed to outpace your peers... you would have more confidence, better sense of optimism about the future or a plan, etc.

I'm sure there are a bunch of similar areas where these upward cycles could really make you “better” at whatever it is you are doing... you just would need time to withdrawal when you are cycling downwards.
 
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Feb 2019
905
Pennsylvania, US
Maybe. The person I know with it can drink quite a lot irrespective of phase (much more than could be expected of someone with that bodysize), but you're right - the causation doesn't have to be entirely clear cut.
My main thought is alcohol is a central nervous system depressant... and in a low state, it could bring a person lower.

It would be interesting if there was data on this... most don't want to acknowledge any special resistance to alcohol, though, simply because alcoholism is linked to bipolar (like many other psychological disorders) and they don't want to encourage alcohol consumption... so it might be hard to dig through the piles of cautionary info to find out if there is more to it.
 
Feb 2019
345
California
Definitely. If you are talking battles and moves/counter moves, you need to have moments of high energy and quick thinking... a hypomanic or even manic state could be harnessed to outpace your peers... you would have more confidence, better sense of optimism about the future or a plan, etc.

I'm sure there are a bunch of similar areas where these upward cycles could really make you “better” at whatever it is you are doing... you just would need time to withdrawal when you are cycling downwards.
I imagine that the "mania" is very conducive to great achievements (especially for exceptionally gifted people like me---uh--I mean Winston) as well as to great f-ups......
 

arkteia

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
4,723
Seattle
He most likely, did.

He called his depressive episodes his "black dog". Mania can present differently, but for Churchill's one, the best word is "creativity". He was a brilliant orator, he could string words together like no one else. He was the writer. He painted. He was probably not truly manic, merely, hypomanic (elated in a productive way).

I think his alcoholism was an attempt to self-medicate, and anyhow he did not drink his life away. It is my understanding that in older age his biggest health problem was diabetes, not liver cirrhosis.
 
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arkteia

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
4,723
Seattle
It's also the case that people with Bipolar generally can drink quite a lot without being affected by alcohol. That would go a long way in explaining his drinking habits...
Nope. "Without being affected by alcohol" is really, the function of one's liver enzymes, not one's mood, but people from the North digest this substance fast enough.

They did an interesting study recently. Long story short, 29.6% of responders admitted to at least one episode of what would count as "mental illness". For women, they said, it was, "predominantly garden-variety" (!) stuff, i.e., depression, bipolar, anxiety. For men, it was mostly substance abuse. Indicating that they probably have the same "garden-variety", but either start self-medicating earlier, or merely are not expected to cry, and hence, don't seek help.
 
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arkteia

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
4,723
Seattle
There is even a case to be made that you can have bipolar, and if you manage it well chances are higher you might be an incredibly inspiring, history-making person.

Not to romanticize a mental condition that can be quite distressing for many (I know people with it that make a heroic job just to get out of bed on their downturns), but it seems to be the case that many non-average people in history have had some characteristics that we moderns like to classify as "mental disorders".
Of course they had.

You simply can't be an "outstanding" personality and at the same time, average emotionally. One has to have this sacred fire in him, or her. The talent, the passion.

There is a good book by K.R.Jamison that is called "touched by fire", about outstanding artists and composers with bipolar disorder.

Yesterday I was trying to make a compendium of Peter the Great's illnesses. Very interesting and complicated. Some were hereditary, it seems.
 
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