Alfredo Zotti on surviving Bipolar disorder and being a creative person

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA0p9m66kgI&t=156s

Hi, my name is Alfredo and I am an Italian immigrant–I emigrated to Australia from Italy in 1974. Back in the 80s I discovered that I had bipolar disorder, however that did not stop me from creating a good life for myself. I did all the things that made me a good citizen: I started to work but as a musician and as a cook in various Italian restaurants and later went to university and was able to get a university degree

I majored in sociology in anthropology and later study some psychology. Later, I began to help people online people that suffer with depression and anxiety and bipolar disorder. What I discovered was that many people with bipolar disorder, but also other disorders such as depression and anxiety were very creative and extremely intelligent. Today after many years of helping people online and helping myself and my wife–because we both suffered with bipolar disorder–I have come to one important conclusion: that bipolar disorder, just like depression and anxiety in other mental disorders as well, it’s part of being human of the human experience.

I invite you to learn more through this video as we discuss creativity and mental disorders with experts.

Alfredo's Journey: An Artist's Creative Life with Bipolar Disorder

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More than a just a journey, Alfredo gives us a blueprint for humane treatment of mental illness

In 1981, twenty-three-year old Alfredo Zotti began his lifelong challenge of living with Bipolar II Disorder. He quickly hit rock bottom, spending time as a homeless person and turning to street drugs and alcohol to medicate his symptoms. After hospitalization and careful outpatient monitoring, he became a successful musician and completed university. In 2004, he started to mentor sufferers of mental illness, and together, they developed an online journal. Alfredo now sees mental illness from a new perspective, not of disadvantages but advantages. In his words: "Having a mental illness can be a blessing if we work on ourselves." In this memoir and critique of mental illness, the reader will learn:

  • How empathic listening and being with someone can help calm that person's symptoms
  • The power of singing to create a safe space in a community
  • Why spirituality can be a key component in the healing process
  • The connections between mental illness, artistic expression, and people who think differently
  • The impact of childhood trauma on our psyche and its role in mental illness
  • The dangers of antipsychotics and antidepressants
  • The amazing connection between heart and brain and how we can cultivate it
  • The challenges of love and marriage between partners with Bipolar Disorder

Original music composed and recorded by the author is available for download by readers

"Alfredo's story and his insights into the causes and treatment of mental ill-health are incredibly moving and impressive. His humanity, intelligence, creativity and his generosity and compassion towards people affected by mental illness and dedicated mental health professionals shine through the pages of his book."
-- Professor Patrick McGorry, AO MD PhD, Executive Director, OYH Research Centre, University of Melbourne

"As a clinician and academic, one can study and research ever known aspect of a disorder and write scholarly articles for learned journals, but none of this holds the potency of an individual relaying his or her lived experience. Alfredo does just this in his inimitable style, offering hope at every juncture to those who travel a similar road. The story should be read by clinicians, academics and sufferers alike."
--Professor Trevor Waring AM, Clinical Psychologist, Con-Joint Professor of Psychology, University of Newcastle

From the World Voices Series at Modern History Press www.ModernHistoryPress.com

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