People with manic or bipolar tendencies have higher expectations of what they can achieve in terms of success, money and fame, a new study published Monday finds.
Researchers assessed 103 people, including 27 with diagnosed manic depression, or bipolar disorder, a brain disorder that causes unusual and often dramatic shifts in a person's mood, energy and ability to function.
They were asked to fill in questionnaires designed to assess their most ambitious life goals, rating the likelihood of certain things happening to them, such as appearing regularly on TV or earning 20 million dollars or more.
"We found that the people who had experienced episodes of mania during their lives had the highest expectations of achieving popular success and financial success," said Professor Sheri L. Johnson from the University of California.
"This pattern suggests that people with manic or bipolar tendencies are drawn to focus on success, money and popular fame."
Writing in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology, she said mania -- characterised by an elevated mood, racing thoughts and increased talkativeness -- had already been linked to a belief in the importance of achievement.
"These results suggest that mania, along with all of its costs, may also drive people to set higher goals," Johnson said.
"In some cases they achieve them, giving us a glimpse into the advantages that can accompany this highly painful disorder."
(c) 2009 AFP
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