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Kinyou
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:08 PM)
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Mr. Ghaemi writes: "The best crisis leaders are either mentally ill or mentally abnormal; the worst crisis leaders are mentally healthy." Winston Churchill is used as an example of the former.


Many great leaders have been mentally ill, mainly with severe depression and sometimes with mania. This is not an entirely controversial statement. It is generally accepted by historians that Abraham Lincoln had severe depression, and so did Winston Churchill. Both were suicidal at times. Some other figures are less well-known but the documentary evidence is relatively strong: General William Sherman was removed from command because of concerns that he was insane. He appeared, in retrospect, to have experienced a manic episode with paranoid delusions; he also had,throughout his life, episodes of severe depression, along with occasional suicidal thoughts. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King both made suicide attempts in adolescence, and each had at least two severe depressive episodes in their lifetimes.

This is not to say that all leaders had mental illness. Most leaders did not; most leaders were mentally healthy. And that may be the problem. Mental health may not be as good for leadership as people often assume.
This would be the case if mental illness confers certain psychological advantages that may be useful for leadership. Mania, for instance, is well associated with creativity. Depression, in many psychological studies, is associated with enhance realism. Both may increase resilience. I have reviewed the scientific evidence for the occurrence of these positive aspects of mental illness elsewhere. If this evidence is correct, it may explain why mental illness might enhance, and mental health hinder, crisis leadership.

Full Article
Lead Based Paint
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:10 PM)
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interesting read.

Now I feel better about being crazy!
~Kinggi~
FIND ME AN ESCORT
NO SHARP KNEEEEEEES
(08-27-2011, 08:12 PM)
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I think it might be because these people are holding themselves to a higher standard, something they are never satisfied with and it causes depression and such.
Sennorin
Banned
(08-27-2011, 08:13 PM)
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Good, then make me president of the world now. :/
serotonina
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:14 PM)
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This is really depressing.
blame space
junior junior member
(08-27-2011, 08:16 PM)
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More comforting news for the mentally ill..

In The Know: Is The Government Spying On Paranoid Schizophrenics Enough?

http://tinyurl.com/yourhealth-schizoids-2011
KimiNewt
Scored 3/100 on an Exam
(08-27-2011, 08:18 PM)
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So they're saying some people who were leaders were also mentally ill.
Big deal, most of the people who were leaders certainly weren't mentally ill and even if they were, it still doesn't mean that being mentally ill somehow improves your chances of being a great leader.
Terrible article titles like these make me seethe with trivial anger.
gofreak
GAF's Bob Woodward
(08-27-2011, 08:18 PM)
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Originally Posted by ~Kinggi~

I think it might be because these people are holding themselves to a higher standard, something they are never satisfied with and it causes depression and such.

A strong conscience and empathy can indeed drive one to severe depression at times.
winter
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:19 PM)
Not to say that it's preferable to be mentally ill but I think it's pretty obvious there are benefits to certain mental illnesses. I've always heard that people with bi-polar disorder tend to be more creative than the general population. I'm tempted to say there's some truth to that after dating a girl who was diagnosed with BPD (and whose bouts of mania I've witnessed firsthand) and who is now in a top art school.
ciaossu
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:20 PM)
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Originally Posted by ~Kinggi~

I think it might be because these people are holding themselves to a higher standard, something they are never satisfied with and it causes depression and such.

That could be a factor, having obsessive tendencies could create strategic advantages as well.
KevinCow
Banned
(08-27-2011, 08:20 PM)
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This article's just trying to convince us to vote Republican.
astroturfing
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:21 PM)
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damnit, i've only been mildly depressed. i guess i need to push myself harder to have negative thoughts.
Flash
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:23 PM)
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Originally Posted by KimiSan

So they're saying some people who were leaders were also mentally ill.
Big deal, most of the people who were leaders certainly weren't mentally ill and even if they were, it still doesn't mean that being mentally ill somehow improves your chances of being a great leader.
Terrible article titles like these make me seethe with trivial anger.

All he's saying is that being depressed or having some sort of mental illness in the past can be seen as a benefit, especially for world leaders. They view (or have viewed) the world in a way that "normal" people cannot, which is important especially in crisis situations. I read the full article a while back but he cited some clear examples (I don't remember them of the top of my head). And I don't see anything wrong with what he alludes to.
Last edited by Flash; 08-27-2011 at 08:26 PM.
Atramental
Timeof to come out the closet
(08-27-2011, 08:23 PM)
I don't think there's a lot of successful people out there who have social anxiety and agoraphobia.
la flama blanca
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:23 PM)
That's awesome! Now back to being severely depressed.....
heliosRAzi
the window was open, he lost his 'cock
(08-27-2011, 08:25 PM)
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Human? You may be human!
CornBurrito
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:26 PM)

Originally Posted by KevinCow

This article's just trying to convince us to vote Republican.

9/10
ThisWreckage
Banned
(08-27-2011, 08:26 PM)
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Drive is the biggest factor, but insane people can have lots of drive.
JABEE
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:27 PM)
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Someone post the Ron Paul picture.
SouthernDragon
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:28 PM)
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Originally Posted by serotonina

This is really depressing.

Sup Ghandi
Inflammable Slinky
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:29 PM)
It might be the case that high intelligence correlates very strongly with mental disorders.
Draff
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:33 PM)
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Originally Posted by Atramental

I don't think there's a lot of successful people out there who have social anxiety and agoraphobia.

Actually, I know many high achievers who have at least some social anxiety traits. Fear of being scrutinized can come with having a type A, perfectionist work ethic.
Kinyou
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:34 PM)
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Originally Posted by JABEE

Someone post the Ron Paul picture.

Argh dammit, I should have used that one instead of churchill

[IMG]http://i53.************/2iu99v8.jpg[/IMG]
BocoDragon
or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
(08-27-2011, 08:35 PM)
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I've been telling people this for awhile now. If you look at the human side of any religious figure, his greatness was motivated by extreme personal suffering, which prompted great change. Same goes for great artists, heroes, etc.

Some people get sad and they think of it like something that should never have happened, it's a "defect" they need to be "fixed". I don't think this is necessarily the case... The down periods of one's life can be used as a motivation to create mounumental change, either internally in one's mind, or externally.
LegendofJoe
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:37 PM)
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This is an interesting article. It definitely strikes a few cords with me. First, I naturally have a strong urge to lead. Second, I have battled depression since I was an adolescent. And third, I obsessively analyze the actions of people and the voiced/written rationale behind those actions. I have also always assumed that this wasn't doing me any favors with regards to my mental health, but heck maybe one day it will prove to be useful.
Last edited by LegendofJoe; 08-27-2011 at 08:45 PM.
Draff
Member
(08-27-2011, 08:46 PM)
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Originally Posted by BocoDragon

I've been telling people this for awhile now. If you look at the human side of any religious figure, his greatness was motivated by extreme personal suffering, which prompted great change. Same goes for great artists, heroes, etc.

Some people get sad and they think of it like something that should never have happened, it's a "defect" they need to be "fixed". I don't think this is necessarily the case... The down periods of one's life can be used as a motivation to create mounumental change, either internally in one's mind, or externally.

Well I think one has to differentiate between a "down period," like an adjustment disorder and a down period that is detrimentally affecting someone's ability to function normally (major depressive episode).
Mgoblue201
Won't stop picking the right nation
(08-27-2011, 08:50 PM)
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Lincoln's depression is probably overblown. The melancholy was more likely an aspect of his temperament, according to Doris Kearns Goodwin. He was rarely incapacitated by it (rather, he fretted that he would never live up to his considerable talents).
milanbaros
Member?
(08-27-2011, 08:54 PM)
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I think we should be more worried with how psychopaths dominate powerful positions. Whether in politics, in the military or in business.
BocoDragon
or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
(08-27-2011, 08:57 PM)
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Originally Posted by Draff

Well I think one has to differentiate between a "down period," like an adjustment disorder and a down period that is detrimentally affecting someone's ability to function normally (major depressive episode).

Definitely and I would like to say that there is no "one size fits all" advice when it comes to sadness, depression, feeling down, etc (however we want to definite it).

Although I will say it is my belief that many great people in history have been motivated by periods of gloom that lasted for years.
astroturfing
Member
(08-27-2011, 09:16 PM)
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Originally Posted by milanbaros

I think we should be more worried with how psychopaths dominate powerful positions. Whether in politics, in the military or in business.

maybe psychopaths work harder and are more focused on what they want? maybe they deserve their success? they don't let silly childish things like empathy get in the way of gaining power..

now please excuse me, i need to go fire some people so my company can squeeze in a little more profit in the next quarter.
Patrick Bateman
(08-27-2011, 09:20 PM)
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\o/
Kinyou
Member
(08-27-2011, 09:24 PM)
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Btw. this also corresponds with one of the radiolab segments about self deception.
Lying to ourselves

The result was that people who are depressed lie less. To others but also to themselves. It means that they have a more realistic view on the world.
I guess you could really argument that this would be helpful in a crisis situation.
Inflammable Slinky
Member
(08-27-2011, 09:50 PM)

Originally Posted by Kinyou

Btw. this also corresponds with one of the radiolab segments about self deception.
Lying to ourselves

The result was that people who are depressed lie less. To others but also to themselves. It means that they have a more realistic view on the world.
I guess you could really argument that this would be helpful in a crisis situation.


I would like to point out that people who are in a depressive episode lie to themselves all the time. It's just they lie to themselves to make things worse for them.


I think we should take care to point out that there's a difference between having been diagnosed with a disorder at some point, and being depressed, clinically. Someone could easily have aspects of a mental disorder that they have learned to cope with and function normally. However, mental issues don't become disorders until they actually impact your quality of life. Great leaders may have had mental issues in their past, but I doubt they would have been able to acheive greatness if they did not learn to cope.
radioheadrule83
Banned
(08-27-2011, 09:52 PM)
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I think everybody is mental. In some way. I've never met a 'normal' person, I don't know what one would be... when you really get to know someone, you learn their every glorious flaw, their every strange quirk. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Goya
Incurious Bastard
(08-27-2011, 09:58 PM)
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In other words, being realistic (i.e. pessimistic relative to your overconfident peers) makes you a good leader during crises. SHOCKING.
Inflammable Slinky
Member
(08-27-2011, 10:03 PM)

Originally Posted by radioheadrule83

I think everybody is mental. In some way. I've never met a 'normal' person, I don't know what one would be... when you really get to know someone, you learn their every glorious flaw, their every strange quirk. I wouldn't have it any other way.


Really, this is my point as well. Mental disorders aren't a pathogen, it's not a thing where you have depression, or you don't. Many people can have aspects of mental disorders that aren't enough to cause anything on their own. It's just when factors come together and start to make it difficult to live life normally, then it becomes a "disorder"
Rur0ni
Member
(08-27-2011, 10:11 PM)
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That Ron Paul picture is the most depressing campaign picture ever.
Jtwo
Banned
(08-27-2011, 10:12 PM)
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I think its like, when you feel really alone, theres no one to lean on. So each crazy situation is like SUPER crazy because you're not experiencing it with someone else... or at least feeling like someone else feels like you feel, which lets you project emotions and rationalize things that are harder to grasp maybe? I'm not sure where this is going, but I know a really comforting thought is "people have passed through this before" but if you can never feel that, then it seems like you would experience everything WAY MORE intensely which makes you put more thought into how you deal with things.. which might make a great leader.
Ketchup Boy
Junior Member
(08-27-2011, 10:16 PM)
Recently, this week I stopped analyzing everything so much...I told myself that the mind is the battlefield and I control my thoughts and I'm done thinking of any negative thoughts about myself or any thoughts that didn't need any thinking. Like I wouldn't think about what happened in the past and I would stop planning anything that I'm going to do in the future. I keep telling myself that what I'm doing right now is the best thing I could be doing. Sure, there are other things I could be doing, but this is seriously the best. My choice is the right choice. No more doubt.

I would only remind myself of my strengths and keep telling myself that I'm the sh!t. And I would always remind myself of people who inspire me. I keep telling myself of everything good that is going on around me and stopped thinking about the negative.

And the weird thing is that I think it is working. I haven't felt a hint of sadness or really any bad feelings since last weekend. I stopped being obsessed with my ex trying to contact her. I keep telling myself I'm only 23 and there are a ton of other attractive chicks out there who would love to be with me. There are millions. And then I think of all the hot chicks that I want to tap and I feel immediately happy. lol

And I actually started getting work done. I'm able to focus easier...I don't know if this is a good technique or not, but I'm done questioning it at least for now. Until I'm done with this school semester that is about to begin.

It all began when I watched the video in this thread I made:

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=442008

Anyways, I don't want to jinx this by analyzing this too much. But I'm trying to form these positive mental connections that the lady in the video said is possible. And I'm trying to rid myself of the negative mental connections.

It feels good. If religious people can form the mental connections that God exists without question...maybe I can form the connections that I am the sh!t and that I am good at what I do...and there is something to live for. And looking at all my strengths, it feels true. :)
BocoDragon
or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
(08-27-2011, 10:19 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ketchup Boy

Recently, this week I stopped analyzing everything so much...I told myself that the mind is the battlefield and I control my thoughts and I'm done thinking of any negative thoughts about myself or any thoughts that didn't need any thinking. Like I wouldn't think about what happened in the past and I would stop planning anything that I'm going to do in the future. I keep telling myself that what I'm doing right now is the best thing I could be doing. Sure, there are other things I could be doing, but this is seriously the best. My choice is the right choice. No more doubt.

I would only remind myself of my strengths and keep telling myself that I'm the sh!t. And I would always remind myself of people who inspire me. I keep telling myself of everything good that is going on around me and stopped thinking about the negative.

And the weird thing is that I think it is working. I haven't felt a hint of sadness or really any bad feelings since last weekend. I stopped being obsessed with my ex trying to contact her. I keep telling myself I'm only 23 and there are a ton of other attractive chicks out there who would love to be with me. There are millions. And then I think of all the hot chicks that I want to tap and I feel immediately happy. lol

And I actually started getting work done. I'm able to focus easier...I don't know if this is a good technique or not, but I'm done questioning it at least for now. Until I'm done with this school semester that is about to begin.

It all began when I watched the video in this thread I made:

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=442008

Anyways, I don't want to jinx this by analyzing this too much. But I'm trying to form these positive mental connections that the lady in the video said is possible. And I'm trying to rid myself of the negative mental connections.

It feels good. If religious people can form the mental connections that God exists without question...maybe I can form the connections that I am the sh!t and that I am good at what I do...and there is something to live for. And looking at all my strengths, it feels true. :)

More power to you! It sounds like a positive effort. I'm happy you realize that you have a choice in your thoughts... so many people never get there.

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