I have not written directly about the most serious of psychiatric diseases. Schizophrenia is…
So is Elon Musk bipolar? Elon Musk’s persona has been described in the lay press recently. He is described in many ways but one. Why not say what it is? Add them all up and one has to consider the possibility that he suffers from bipolar disease also known as manic-depressive illness.
There is no place in the modern lexicon for words like crazy, lunatic or insane all of which are waste basket terms. I have seen him described as “crazy”. Looking at the approximately 10 X 9 X 1.5 inch DSM-5, the bible of psychiatrists, it is obvious that such derogatory terms could relate to hundreds of psychiatric conditions.
In the twenty-first century are we still unable to write Bipolar Disease, BPD, or Major Depression Disease, MDD? A terrible misnomer is to call them disorders. They are diseases, specifically brain diseases due to deficiencies of three neurotransmitters and just as real as diabetes is a deficiency of insulin. BPD and MDD show structural abnormalities on specialized MRI brain scans. Both are hereditary as is schizophrenia (marked by delusions and/or hallucinations).
Some references that could show Elon Mush bipolar manic symptoms: Emotional, impulsive, poor judgment (taking Tesla private), irritable, unapologetically nasty (calling a diver in Thailand a “pedo),” supercharged, not needing sleep, (as in staying for days at the Tesla plant), bombastic, feeling superior to peers, flight of ideas and erratic. Manic.
Likewise: Withdrawn, exhausted, pessimistic about the future of the company and his place in it, tearful, emotional, feelings of guilt about missing his family: Major Depression.
Certainly if correct or wrong about if Elon Musk bipolar symptoms indicate that he is indeed bipolar, more national and local dialogue is needed. The positive about these inherited disease is the remarkable association with extremely high cognitive function.
He is an amazing visionary with Tesla, Space X and other projects. To be a visionary is to be a Leonardo Da Vinci or a Ted Turner.
Kay Redfield, herself bipolar, has written many books, among which is Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament. She discusses the connection between writers, poets, painters and composers who had MDD or BPD.
To show empathy for this now vilified man is to do him and his family a disservice. We are losing too many geniuses to suicide recently. A support person, family or friend, is as necessary as talk therapy and medications to live hugely productive lives rather than dysfunction or catastrophe.
Bring those with mental diseases out of the closet. Helping this become a reality are the many high profile people who are telling their stories in real time and educating the public