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May 18, 2024
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Touched by Fire
Produced by: Dheera Sujan
Madness and genius have often been linked. And studies show that there is a greatly increased rate of depression, manic-depressive illness, bi-polar disorder, and suicide in writers and artists. In "Touched by Fire," Producer Dheera Sujan of Radio Netherlands explores the connections between creativity and mental illness. We meet Kay Redfield Jamison, Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, one of the world's leading experts on manic-depressive illness. She herself suffers from manic depression and she believes that people who have experienced the highs of mania and the depths of depression have a unique insight into the human condition. We also meet Stella, Edward, and Carrie-Anne, who provide an intimate portrait of what it's like to live with bi-polar disorder. This program is part of our international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.

Program Credits

Touched by Fire was produced by Dheera Sujan of Radio Netherlands. Special thanks to the speakers: Professor Kay Redfield Jamison, Stella, Edward, and Carrie-Anne. The music was composed and performed by Rene Kluiving. This program airs as part of the international documentary exchange series, Crossing Boundaries.


Read about the other programs in this series on mental illness by Radio Netherlands.

Bipolar World
This site provides a wealth of information on diagnosis, treatment, and support for bipolar individuals. You can also connect with doctors on this site to ask questions about bipolar disorder.

The Moody News
This newsletter is for and about those coping with mood disorders. On this site, you can subscribe, or test your knowledge of mood disorders.

Bipolar Survivor
Read about bipolar artists and view their work. You will also find helpful information about treatment and support for bipolar disorder.

Manic Depression and Creativity
Students from Princeton University created this site detailing the links between creativity and bipolar disorder. The site also lists artists, writers and composers who suffered from manic depression.

Transforming Depression: Healing the Soul Through Creativity
by: David H. Rosen 2002
Dr. Rosen suggests that creativity and artistic expression may save people from depression or suicidal episodes.

Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path through Depression
by: Eric Maisel 2002
Dr. Eric Maisel developed a four-step process for working through depression in creative people.

Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and The Artistic Temperament
by: Kay Redfield Jamison 1996
Kay Jamison, featured in the program, suggests connections between manic depression and artistic creativity. In her book she discusses the lives of Van Gogh, Edgar Allen Poe, Virginia Woolf, and others who suffered from manic depression.

Diary of a Young Bipolar
by: Alexander Scott 2004
Poetry expressing the highs and devastating lows of bipolar disorder.

Radio Online
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Programs by Dheera Sujan

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