is a graduate of Yale University and the University of London. In his private architectural practice he designed the North Hollywood Subway Station for Los Angeles' MTA Red Line, the headquarters of the Los Angeles Mission for the Homeless and several renovations of SRO hotels in Skid Row. He was also a Lecturer in Architecture at UCLA and Woodbury University and an assistant professor at the University of Wyoming. He taught drawing at Otis Art Institute and is well known for his writing in art and architecture periodicals.
Mr. Davis has accomplished these impressive tasks while also fighting mental illness. In his book, bipolar bare, he chronicles his life story with bipolar disorder
– how it first manifested, the addictions it pulled him into, and the recovery he finally found.
Now, as an articulate and inspiring advocate for the mentally ill, he speaks to groups to bring insight, compassion, and a dose of reality from someone who has "been there" to the complicated issues that challenge individuals, families, and society's systems.
Based on his memoir bipolar bare, Mr. Davis communicates a unique viewpoint about bipolar disorder
, creativity, addiction, and recovery. He believes that the illness is a conflict of two selves residing in one body. Davis thinks each person, whether disorder or normal exists in a duality that is prefigured by our having two hemispheres of the brain. In the bipolar personality this duality is complicated by the biochemical wiring between the two minds, which causes the wide mood swings between depression and mania. This biochemical imbalance can manifest itself in two personalities, the proverbial Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome. In Mr. Davis's case, he refers two his different personalities as Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde. Mrs. Hyde was Carlotta, a bold brash, and fearless female, who is full of life yet irritated by ignorance and lethargy, and grandiose in her belief in herself. Dr. Jekyll was Carlton, who was a sad, energy less individual, who saw himself as a failure in life.
Division has its advantages, Mr. Davis points out, citing examples from History, such as artists Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci, writers Sylvia Path and Robert Lowell, and politicians Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. These people were believed to suffer from bipolar disorder, and yet were able to accomplish great things. Even ordinary folk plagued with this illness can have their moments of great energy, empathy for others, penetrating insight, great creative spark, and fearless self-confidence exhibited by the famous.
Addiction is a common occurrence among those with bipolar disorder, Mr. Davis discusses his reasons why this is true. He points to the fact in his own case, where he fell into drug addictions. He speaks about substance abuse was self-medication for the mood swings. He also describes how drugs, allow the full blown division into two being to occur because they elevate mania, make depression deeper, and eliminate inhibitions.
Resolution of the conflict between these two selves, constitute Mr. Davis' recovery. He talks about how he recovered through therapy, medication, and meditation. Meditation being one of the tree pillars of his recovery because of the insight that it brings.
Carlton Davis will talk around the many topics related to the issue of bipolar disorder. His basic talk is entitled "The bipolar coaster, riding the edge of madness with two minds
" where he presents his theory of the disorder. He also will talk separately on drug addiction, basic mood swings what they are and what's involved with them, creativity and madness, suicide, and alternate viewpoints about the disease, including those who don't think it an illness at all, to name a few of the topics in his repertoire.
Among the venues Mr.Davis has and will be speaking to are Seven NAMI Chapters including ones in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Glendale, San Gabriel Valley, Temecula, Long Beach, and West Los Angeles in California. He has also presented to the Wilshire Rotary Club in Los Angeles. In April 2009, He will be giving a workshop at the CASRA conference in San Mateo, California.
Besides his career as a public speaker, Mr. Davis also functions as a Life Coach to those with bipolar disorder. He continues his private architectural practice and is an artist and writer. The website www.bipolarbarebook.com
aside from featuring his book, includes blogs on the subject of bipolar disorder. A new website of his drawings is in the process of design and should be up on the internet in March of 2010. A new book by Carlton Davis is in process of development and will be ready for publication in 2011.