Feeling, thinking, and creativity in bipolar disorder: Terence Ketter at TEDxConstitutionDrive

Since 1995, Dr. Terence Ketter has been at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he is Professor, and founder and Chief of the Bipolar Disorder Clinic. Dr. Ketter’s research, has involved studying bipolar disorder’s causes, symptoms, and treatments, and has included exploring links between creativity, temperament, and mood disorders. He has published extensively on bipolar disorder, including over 350 scientific articles and book chapters, and is editor of the American Psychiatric Publishing volumes “Advances in the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder” and “Handbook of Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder”. He serves on editorial boards for numerous scientific journals. Dr. Ketter continues to care for patients with bipolar disorder, for which he has been awarded the Outstanding Faculty Physician Award by Vaden Health Center at Stanford University.

Cramer’s ‘Mad’ Antics

Sloppy stock picks and childish temper tantrums are nothing new to Jim Cramer.

The host of CNBC’s “Mad Money” alienated co-workers with his erratic stock trades and furniture throwing as far back as 2000, when he was working for the hedge fund he started after leaving Goldman Sachs.

And it may have been the spark that led the Wall Street pro out the door of Cramer Berkowitz, the firm he had founded 13 years earlier, according to Todd Harrison, in his new memoir.

At the end of 2000, for example, Cramer’s frenetic trading style dinged the double-digit profits the firm was making from correctly calling the dot-com bust.

IN an effort to protect its gains, the partners had agreed to dramatically limit their trading. But positions in Microsoft, Morgan Stanley and Brocade Communications started showing up in the hedge fund’s portfolio thanks to Cramer, which frustrated the partners, said Harrison, a partner and head of trading at Cramer Berkowitz at the time.

“He would haphazardly make trades,” said Harrison, who has written an autobiography that includes an insider’s account of Cramer’s antics.

“We’d go from hugging each other to screaming at each other,” Harrison recalls of his days with Cramer, which make up five of the book’s 18 chapters.

It was so intense every day,” he said.

The tale echoes the similarly controversial tantrums and stock picks made on his show in the last year.

Cramer told viewers to buy shares in bank Wachovia after its CEO, Bob Steele, who worked with Cramer at Goldman, appeared on his show and stretched the truth about the strength of the bank’s real-estate portfolio. Cramer later apologized for the “buy” recommendation.

The cable pundit also found himself apologizing for controversial comments as well, including a hair-raising episode in which he told viewers to harass AIG employees amid concerns late last year that the company was spending money on retreats and executive bonuses even as it sought a government bailout.

The 54-year-old Wall Street veteran was also blasted on national TV by “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart for his bullish call on Bear Stearns just as the firm was about to crater.

In his recently completed book, “Memoirs of a Minyan,” of which he is releasing chapters through his Web site Minyanville.com, Harrison writes about a memorable Cramer meltdown after one tech-sector buy, on Brocade Communications, resulted in the hedge fund losing a modest amount of money.

Keyboards were being smashed, “keys were flying, spit was flying,” and Cramer was yelling like a madman, said Harrison. Efforts to calm him down only resulted in more aggression, including Cramer accusing Harrison of not caring whether the firm made money, he said.

Fed up, Harrison got up to leave, which prompted Cramer to throw a water bottle at him.

That night, Harrison told Cramer’s long-time partner in the firm, Jeff Berkowitz, that he wouldn’t be back the following year if Cramer remained at the hedge fund. Other staffers were fed up as well, Harrison says in the as-yet-unpublished manuscript, which chronicles his journey from rich Wall Street pro to struggling small business owner.

Within a week of the Brocade tirade, Cramer retired from the firm. Harrison insists he doesn’t know for sure what led to Cramer’s departure from the hedge fund and that he only has his suspicions.

“Everything I talk about is the truth in how I see it in my eyes,” he says.

And in his eyes, the cable TV personality was an emotional “roller coaster” who made life exhausting for everyone around him.

Harrison’s new book shows Cramer’s good sides, too, including his impulse to help people. When Harrison found out his long-lost dad was homeless and in jail in Hawaii, for example, Cramer immediately told him to take care of his family — markets be damned.

AND when Harrison re turned from the same trip grappling with word of his dad’s mental illness, Cramer — who is open about his own diagnosis with bipolar disorder — was helpful in explaining the disease, Harrison told The Post. “Jim is very complex,” he added.

Cramer declined to comment, except to say that if The Post wants “the straight story,” it should turn to his 2003 memoir, “Confessions of a Street Addict.”

In the book, Cramer mentions his erratic behavior and his departure from Cramer Berkowitz.

“I had broken enough furniture and monitors and keyboards to last a lifetime. More than a lifetime in fact. As a forty-five-year-old hedge-fund manager, I had already overstayed my actuarial table. Time to get out before the game killed me. Time to get out before I killed someone else.”

What Bipolar II Feels Like

Imagine if you didn’t fit in anywhere, not even in your own head.

This bipolar II. This many-sided creature. This life of mine. This brain constantly in conference with the racing heart, reminding me to slow down, stay calm.

Remember the first time you were ever on a Ferris wheel? Remember when you got to the very top and just sat there, the entire world at your feet? You felt like you could reach up and grab the sky. Your entire body tingled with the intersection of joy and indestructibility and fearlessness and that good anxious recklessness. So damn excited to be alive at that moment. You could do anything.

Now imagine feeling that every day for a week, or a month, or a few months. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, without a break. So that everything you do feels like THE BIGGEST MOST AMAZING THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE IN YOUR LIFE!

The first week or so, it’s great. Until it’s not.

Because then the insomnia sets in. And you’re stacking days on top of one another, adding a new one before the last one ends. And you have to write the entire book tonight before you can sleep or eat or leave the house or do anything. But first you have to call your friends and your sister and the guy you just met and tell them all how much you love them. Tell each one that you’ve never felt this way about any other human being in the entire world and you’re so lucky and so glad and so grateful to have such an amazing, magical person in your life. And you believe it because it’s true.

Until it isn’t. Until everything about them — the way their voices trail, the way their mouths move when they chew, the fact that he crosses his legs at the knee, the way she speaks about movies she’s never seen, the way they refer to celebrities by their first names — starts to make you feel like your blood is filled with snakes and you want to scream awful things at them about how the sounds of their voices feel like teeth on your skin and how much you hate their mother or their apartment or yourself. You want to bury your hatred in them, but you’re never quite sure who you hate the most. You, it’s always you.

You know how you can get a song stuck in your head? Imagine hearing that song even in your sleep — waking you up in the middle of the night to ensure you’re aware of the lap it’s running in your head. Then imagine you have to find out everything you can about that song and its singer. Where it started? Who wrote it? What inspired it? Why? You have to do all of this before there can be quiet in your head, before you can rest, before you can sleep.

Now imagine you do this with clothes. You can only wear 7 for All Mankind jeans or Citizens of Humanity because they were both created by the same people until one of them left because of a falling-out and started C.O.H. You know this because you researched and Googled and Wikipedia-ed everything there is to know about them and those are the only jeans you can wear now so who cares if they’re two hundred dollars?

And then Oprah gave her entire audience James Perse T-shirts. She said they were the softest things she’d ever felt on her body, and it’s Oprah so you have to have them too. So you stay up all night and you order these shirts because Oprah said they were the softest she’d ever felt and you want to feel them. You want to know what they feel like and online shopping is the worst thing and the best thing that has ever happened to you. Because if you can’t sleep because you can’t stop thinking of the perfect jeans or the shirts so soft they made Oprah moan, then you can just buy them and try them for yourself.

And imagine you do all of this each night for many nights. And then the packages come because of course you did overnight express and you feel crazy and stupid and silly and irresponsible and you’re exhausted because you know this isn’t normal. You know this isn’t how normal people are and you don’t know what’s wrong with you. And you don’t know what to do. And you don’t know how to live like this but you don’t know how to stop, and the need to persuade your body to give up is visceral — it crawls through your being and your brain wants to stop it but your brain can’t because your brain is tired.

Imagine you don’t fit anywhere, not even in your own head.