Bipolar and the Integral Level

My fundamental question is this: Is it possible to be at the Integral Level and have bipolar disorder?

I recently…I mean, it was obvious as all get-out…after years of dabbling in integral practice and theory…I truly believe I’ve reached the integral level. I’ve also battled with bipolar disorder. About a decade ago, I watched a series of videos talking about how the speaker believes that bipolar disorder is essentially a person struggling to make it to the integral level and messing up. I can’t recall if it was bipolar type 1 like I have, to which he was referring specifically, or if he was speaking of bipolar disorder in general.

For a lot of reasons, that most of which are still totally scattered throughout my memory, this now resonates quite deeply for me. However, assuming it’s true if it’s not and using that as a reason to go off my medication would prove disastrous in my life, while at the same time taking unnecessary medication is also not ideal, but in lieu of an answer, I think it wise to err on the side of caution. I’m wondering what an integral expert in psychiatry and psychology would think, but also open for personal feedback, especially as I’ve given a taste of my own experience.


I absolutely think you can be integral and bi-polar, yes. Some might argue that the path may take a bit longer, and perhaps a bit more treacherous, simply because of the wild oscillations and shadows the condition can potentially generate if it’s not properly managed.

But I think that sort of becomes the key at integral stages — how are we managing, attending to, and healing our own mind, our own brain chemistry, our own traumas, etc. Because “being integral” of course is not a matter of what kind of ideas we find ourselves interested in, but the actual quality of mind that we are able to cultivate for ourselves. Are you able to sustain a basic unshakable awareness of your own mental states, even in the midst of a bipolar episode? If so, you’re probably on the right track :slight_smile:

Plus, I have a feeling most of us wouldn’t be interested in Integral in the first place, which is more than anything a vision of wholeness, if we did not each have our own mental, emotional , and spiritual challenges and even feelings of brokenness we are walking around with :slight_smile:

Just some thoughts, as someone with similar tendencies. I hope it’s helpful!


Wonderfully expressed and well-thought. Thank you.

I have been under the process of living the state of being living “schizophrenia” - without really being schizophrenic but realising this at the end of it… don’t bother it’s magic - and so what I can say is that there is always a way out of any conditions.
But… the condition itself will lead you to a particular state of experience that will be unique to you, not necessarily unfavourable.

ps: throw away medications when you will get to the point of mindfully understand their mechanisms in you to every inch of their influences in your interior.

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Thanks Magic. My mental illness also affects my exterior too, in unfavorable ways, so I think that has to be taken into account as well before I’d “throw away” any meds.