Does It Hurt to Be Bipolar?
Why not enjoy it and celebrate your bipolar disability in the pages of Fortune magazine, and on your very own blog on the Fortune/CNN website? That's what "Stanley Bing" does.
That's Stanley's profile on the near right. Does it look like anyone you know? He claims to be a real person with a phony name to protect his employment as a high level executive at a Fortune 500 company.
If you ask him about his bipolar disorder (and I did, in a comment window on The Bing Blog). His nearly immediate response is that he is not bipolar. He is polar! He revels in his mania, in the corporate environment that rewards it — fat paychecks and bonuses, promotions, the corner office, accolades and attaboys.
The high energy, hard charging, tell-it-like-it-is executive who cuts to the chase and chases the brass ring is, well, who he is. He likes who he is, wouldn't change if he could (and he can't) — and he doesn't want any help, so shut up. It works for him.
Of course, we recognize the persona but we don't know for sure whether Stanley Bing is (1) a real person with a phony name, (2) a composite personage of his environment, or (3) perhaps a committee of staff writers who take turns being Bing on their "up" days.
This brings us to the self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh (above right). First aspect you may notice is it's a really good look-alike for Kirk Douglas. Second, this is the face of bipolar disorder in extremis — one of many self-portraits van Gogh painted in the last three years leading to his suicide in 1890.Continued on the next page