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Revista médica de Chile

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FIGUEROA C, Gustavo. Virginia Woolf as an example of a mental disorder and artistic creativity . Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2005, vol.133, n.11, pp.1381-1388. ISSN 0034-9887.

This is an attempt to evaluate the mental disorder that the novelist Virginia Woolf suffered, and to determine the relatioship between her creativity and her insanity. What mostly characterizes her illness is the presence of typical phases of severely impairing depression and significant hypomania, culminating in suicide at the age of 59. This is a convincing life history of a bipolar II disorder, although the «broad bipolar spectrum» is less easy to define operational than bipolar disorder I. She was moderately stable as well as exceptionally productive from 1915 until she committed suicide in 1941. Virginia Woolf created little or nothing while she was unwell, and was productive between attacks. A detailed analysis of her own creativity over the years shows that her illnesses were the source of material for her novels

Keywords : Biography; Bipolar disorders; Literature; Personality disorders; Psychopathology.

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