Art and Madness

There are studies on the connection between the artistic impulse and mental illness. The best are books written by Kay Redfield Jamison, especially her “Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament.”

In that book, she charts hundreds of writers, from George Gordon Lord Byron to Virginia Woolf, and reveals how the mental illness played a role in their writing.

In this podcast, I speak about my own struggles with manic-depression, and how it has played a role in my own impulse to write, my own need to get words on the page that reflect whatever’s in my head. It relieves the pressure; and, if I’m lucky, it’ll make for a good piece of literature.


  1. You might be interested in my memoir “Birth of a New Brain” which was endorsed by Kay Redfield Jamison.
    I wrote about my postpartum bipolar disorder and how childbirth triggered not only bipolar but hypergraphia, the bizarre condition to write compulsively that’s usually associated in temporal lobe epilepsy.

    I look forward to listening to your podcast, Marcos!

    Take care,


    p.s. This is my latest podcast with the London-based Mental Health Book Club:

    1. I am now ordering your book! And look forward to hearing your podcast. I love reading more about the ins & outs of this illness, I’ll dive into your book once it gets to me!

  2. p.s. You have a wonderful speaking voice. As the daughter of a speech pathologist/actress, I know a great voice when I hear one. 🙂 Dr. Jamison is a clinical psychologist, not a psychiatrist. I used to think she was a psychiatrist as well. Many people assume she’s a psychiatrist since she teaches psychiatry. & co-authored the classic textbook “Manic Depressive Illness” with Frederick K. Goodwin.

    1. Thanks so much–and thanks for the correction about Dr. Jamison. I’m glad you like my voice, sometimes I cringe!

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