Cyndi posted an interesting question on our Bipolar Blog.

Cyndi asks…

Okay, here goes. A strange thought accompanies me from time to time in my bipolar walk. What if I really am psychic? I have read many blogs and articles that state there is some sort of connection to psychic energy from a bipolar, manic mind. This may be more a highly-sensitive phenomenon as I am not sure how to distinguish mania-driven imagery from highly sensitive tendencies to “read” people and their thoughts. I could swear I know what people are thinking much of the time. Or is this something all of us (bipolar or not) think we’re capable of? Does it have universal application? It’s a weird kind of thing to consider because so much of the literature on mania-fueled energy involves references to our “knowing” what others think but in actuality it is a manifestation to “think” we know, when we couldn’t possibly.

Dr. Fink answers…

Hi Cyndi –

The question of being psychic is an interesting one and something that comes up from time to time with my patients. Certain types of thinking are actually delusions due to a manic or depressed state, and a person who feels that they can truly read other people’s minds is probably suffering from at least some delusional symptoms.

That being said, many people with bipolar disorder are exquisitely sensitive to others – they pick up very quickly on emotional stimuli from other people. This is not a delusion, but rather a part of the emotionally tender quality of the bipolar brain. However, this kind of sensitivity is tricky – it can over-read some emotions and sometimes attribute meaning or thoughts to perceived emotions in others that may be inaccurate.

Emotional sensitivity is a gift in many ways, but it needs to be carefully monitored as it can also intrude on and distort thinking in ways that may not be helpful.

We would like to know what you think. If you have bipolar, do you feel you’re more intuitive than the average person? If you feel comfortable doing so, please share any specific experiences you’ve had.



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From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (April 6, 2010)

From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (April 6, 2010)

This Week In Mentalists: The Last Minute Cancellation Edition « Mental Nurse (April 10, 2010)

Responses to symptom induction exercises in panic disorder | Panic Anxiety Treatment (May 1, 2010)

    Last reviewed: 6 Apr 2010

APA Reference
Fink, C. (2010). Does Bipolar Disorder Make Me Psychic?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 1, 2014, from


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Candida Fink, M.D. and Joe Kraynak are authors of
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