This article is from: May. 02, 2003 but still thought it was worthy of posting for discussion:
Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing who said God called her to her work, "heard voices" and suffered from a bipolar disorder, a University of Pittsburgh mental health expert said Friday.
Nightingale was 31 when she asked God in a letter why she couldn't be happy: "Why, oh my God, can I not be satisfied with the life that satisfies so many people and told that the conversation of all of these clever men ought to be enough for me? Why am I starving, desperate and diseased on it?"
Dr. Kathy Wisner, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, cited the note as evidence that Nightingale suffered from a bipolar disorder that caused long periods of depression and remarkable bursts of productivity.
Nightingale was the subject of a conference Friday at the University of Maryland School of Medicine that discussed Wisner's theory. The annual conference has diagnosed the ills of historic figures since 1995.
"Florence heard voices and experienced a number of severe depressive episodes in her teens and early 20s - symptoms consistent with the onset of bipolar disorder," Wisner said.
Full Article: http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/5773355.htm
Apr 13, '04
Well, being bipolar is NOT a crime or a character defect, you know. Many bipolar folks are brilliant, high-functioning and wonderful people. Sheesh what ignorance we still hold about mental health these days. It really upsets me this is even a concern at this point. I would like to leave the woman and her memory alone. One thing to consider: In another time and another culture (certain native American ones) schizophrenics and folks who would have been classified bipolar were believed to be seers of considerable wisdom. Maybe, just maybe, they were right.
Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 13, '04