Dr. Viktor Frankl – Holocaust Survivor, Psychiatrist and founder of ‘Logotherapy’ – makes a very cogent case for the benefits of finding meaning in and through suffering. Logotherapy contends that by re-orientating ones attitude to a particular situation, and by finding meaning in that situation, then it is possible to live a more fulfilling and positive life. So with bipolar disorder for example, one can embrace the suffering inherent in having such a condition, and to use this in a meaningful way by helping others, advocating for a greater societal understanding of mental ill-health etc etc.
Each individual will have a different response to Frankl’s thesis, but I have found it helpful in coping and in looking to the future with hope and expectation. Here is a superb extended interview with Frankl, entitled: ‘Finding meaning in difficult times’: