I recently attended one of the lovely webinars hosted by the International Bipolar Foundation. The speaker, Dr Nassir Ghaemi (Professor at Tufts university), presented his book, a “First Rate Madness: Mood disorders and Crisis Leadership” and discussed the issue of leadership and mood disorders.
According to his talk, people with mood disorders, as well as in general mentally abnormal people, make better leaders — especially at times of crisis. He gave examples of many American and European political leaders who achieved “greatness,” and their psychohistory suggests also had a mental disorder – in most cases a bipolar disorder.
I have trouble digesting this argument; not for personal reasons, I also love my bipolar patients and wish to think and speak well of them, but for scientific reasons.