What’s in it for me? Discover how experience with mental illness can work in your favor.

Mental health issues don’t get cast in the best light. Despite progress in recent years, a certain stigma still surrounds them. It means people who have experiences with psychiatric illnesses are often unwilling to speak out. That’s unfortunate and, as far as Nassir Ghaemi is concerned, things don’t have to be that way.

His approach is plain. If we look to the past, we can see that many of the world’s greatest leaders had mental health issues. If we accept and elevate that tendency, we can find a way to celebrate what can be the positive consequences of psychiatric illness.

In the past, this taboo has meant that we preferred to support the representatives and leaders who seemed the most “normal.” But having depression or bipolar disorder, for example, may be an advantage when serving in office.

As you’ll see in these blinks, some of the most impactful leaders in the world’s history personally experienced mental health issues. By looking at these leaders’ behavior, we can shed some light on the relationship between mental health and political leadership, challenging some of our deep-seated prejudices about this topic.

In these blinks, you’ll learn:

  • how hyperthymic personality disorder may have prevented nuclear war;
  • why Tony Blair wasn’t as monomaniacal as he’s often portrayed; and
  • into what surprising profession the prejudice against mental health reaches.