Bipolar Disorder In Charles Brown By John Brown

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According to the author, Brown exhibits nearly all of DSM-4’s benchmarks for bipolar disorder, including: “inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, an increase in goal-directed activities and excessive involvement in pleasurable activities with high potential for negative consequences”. His failure to consider friend’s advice, sense of a God-ordained mission and ability to go for long periods without much sleep all validate the diagnosis. Brown was also subject to spells of depression as expounded in a letter about a specific “John” written to one of his creditor’s sons, Harry Stearns.
The author explains how the letter reflects a “Puritan” writing style “inspired by the Bible.” He repeatedly mentions faith in the letter, saying: how he “learned to fear God and his commandments” and acknowledged the “divine authenticity of the Bible.” (Davidson 163) He associates good and bad with God specific to a Calvinist faith, noting how God can take and give all things. Brown also mentions an experience with an African-American slave friend who is terribly mistreated and whipped while his master refers to Brown with such respect simply for his race. This seems to have left a profound effect on the path of his life.
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Brown recounts instances of great sadness, one being the death of his mother. The manner in which he says this in his letter how, “John was left a motherless boy” (Davidson 165) emphasizing the loss involved and also emphasizing himself instead of the mother’s death. He mentions how this mourning lasted for years and he was never able to accept his new mother as complete and full; “pining” for his true mother. He also says how he mourned for “years” the loss of a yellow marble given to him by an Indian friend. These “intensity and duration of these feelings” (Davidson 166), according to the author, show signs of depression associated with bipolar

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