Bipolar Disorder in Song Lyrics Essay

Bipolar Disorder in Song Lyrics Essay

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Songwriters write about their lives since their lyrics are a reflection of their personal experiences. Often, a coping mechanism for dealing with a problem is to bring the issue out in the open.
The lead singer and song writer of alternative rock band Blue October, Justin Furstenfeld explains on a suicide prevention video that he has “battled with bipolar disorder, psychiatric tendencies as well as anxiety issues throughout much of his life and admits he self-harmed during his teenage years and has reoccurring suicidal thoughts” (Freunde fürs Leben, 2010). Many songs that he wrote are about his mental illness and problems he faced because of it.
In the song X Amount of Words, Furstenfeld clearly wrote this song about his mental illnesses. The purpose of this song is Furstenfeld’s way of describing what living with bipolar disorder and how it affected his relationships with those he cares about and how he copes with it. Despite its catchy techno sound the lyrics are a stark contrast and reveal the emotional roller coaster that affects those afflicted with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar Disorder
According to Butcher, Hooley and Mineka, bipolar I disorder is major depression coupled with mania. Bipolar I disorder is distinguished from bipolar II disorder because manic episodes and major depression last for an extended amount of time; at least one week (Butcher, Hooley, & Mineka, 2014, p. 239). Symptoms of patients who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder include depression, anxiety, guilt and suicidal thoughts and energetic periods which include irritability, short temperedness, and erratic judgment (Butcher, Hooley, & Mineka, 2014, p. 240).
Furstenfeld mentions in the song about being triggered into a relapse and becoming high stru...

... middle of paper ...

...Mood Disorders and Suicide. In Abnormal Psychology (16th Ed.) (pp. 211-262). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
Freunde fürs Leben (2010, April 27). - Blue October, Part 1 (no subtitles) [Video file]. Retrieved from
Furstenfeld, J. S. (2005). X Amount of Words [Recorded by Blue October]. United States of America.
Langer, A. (2013, August 17). A Musical Switch From Self-Pity to Gratitude - Retrieved February 15, 2014, from
Ramirez, C. (2011, June 14). Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld Talks About His Mental Breakdown. Retrieved February 14, 2014, from

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