My Talents Despite My Bipolar Disorder
There is a book that many organizations use called StrengthsFinder 2.0. It was developed by the Gallup Organization, and it has outstanding statistical validity and reliability to determine what one’s top-five strengths are from 34 possibilities. It was also a #1 Wall Street Journal and #1 Business Week bestseller.
The original database was developed by using over 100,000 people, and today this tool is utilized in more than 100 countries, in 20 different languages, and by more companies than you can imagine for selecting people to hire and for putting together work teams.
My Top-Five Strengths
My top-five strengths summarized include: 1) Intellection – introspective and needs to be alone frequently, anxiety over the future, and having new ideas in mind most of the time; 2) Maximizer – needs to take something strong and make it superb, and trusts instincts and talents to progress over time and move faster; 3) Deliberative – driven by talents, must see success over time before calling it a success, and typically remains silent over personal information; 4) Strategic – needs to understand how things work, sees alternative paths and patterns others generally do not see, and generates innovative ideas before proceeding; and 5) Learner – needs to know everything about everything, driven by talents, likely to be self-taught in many ways, and desires to learn more and improve.
One day, while I was going over the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment with my students, and I began to re-look at my own top-five strengths. Looking at each one alone provided little insight into my Bipolar Disorder. But, when I began to look at them in combination, I could see hypomania written all over them. The blending of the strengths seemed to describe my hypomanic states quite well. Three of them refer to being more introspective, three others about generating ideas and learning more, two about being very purposeful in creating outstanding outcomes of your work, and one even includes feelings of anxiety.
I believe that these strengths are a part of me all of the time, but they are in pure overdrive during hypomania. I can even make a sentence out of the five strengths for when I am in a hypomanic state. My intellectual capacity and desire to learn allows me to deliberately maximize my efforts, so that I can strategically find ways of doing things that no one else can do better than me.
My psychiatrist also likes to remind me of the downsides to hypomania. Those include the racing thoughts that do not allow me to settle down enough to sleep or complete simple tasks or sleep, becoming irritable, being easily agitated, and becoming so focused on something that I am unable to have a simple conversation with my partner. These are all true, and they do cause problems for me. But, I sure do miss the highs of hypomania. However, I also realize that not all good things come from it.
But, I often wonder how many Bipolar II patients have the same or similar strengths, and how much of it is really a negative thing. This is the one of the internal struggles I live with today, overcoming my Bipolar Disorder despite my true talents.
#Talents #Bipolar #Disorder
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