An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

Kay Redfield Jamison

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 0679763309

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In her bestselling classic, An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison changed the way we think about moods and madness.

Dr. Jamison is one of the foremost authorities on manic-depressive (bipolar) illness; she has also experienced it firsthand. For even while she was pursuing her career in academic medicine, Jamison found herself succumbing to the same exhilarating highs and catastrophic depressions that afflicted many of her patients, as her disorder launched her into ruinous spending sprees, episodes of violence, and an attempted suicide.

Here Jamison examines bipolar illness from the dual perspectives of the healer and the healed, revealing both its terrors and the cruel allure that at times prompted her to resist taking medication. An Unquiet Mind is a memoir of enormous candor, vividness, and wisdom—a deeply powerful book that has both transformed and saved lives.

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background, and I explained that I was a freshman, wanted to become a doctor, and that I was working my way through school. He pointed out the university regulations stating that I was not allowed to be taking his course, as it was for juniors and seniors only, and I said that I knew that, but it looked interesting and the rule seemed completely arbitrary. He laughed out loud, and I suddenly realized that I was finally in a situation where someone actually respected my independence. This was not

and research forms and then put together a teaching program that would qualify as a clinical rotation, or training experience, for third-year psychiatric residents and predoctoral psychology interns. Although there was some opposition to the fact that I, as a nonphysician, was the director of a medical clinic, most of the medical staff—especially the medical director of the clinic, the chairman of the psychiatry department, and the chief of staff of the Neuropsychiatric Institute—backed me up.

psychiatrist, there was no one I could talk to about the real extent of the difficulties I was having. Or perhaps there was, but it never really occurred to me to try. There were next to no other women in the adult psychiatry division; the women that did exist in the department all clumped together in child psychiatry. They were no protection against the weasels in the woodwork, and, besides, they had weasels enough in their own quarters. Although most of my male colleagues were fair, and many

steadiness was not only desirable, but essential; somewhere in my heart, however, I continued to believe that intense and lasting love was possible only in a climate of somewhat tumultuous passions. This, I felt, consigned me to being with a man whose temperament was largely similar to my own. I was late to understand that chaos and intensity are no substitute for lasting love, nor are they necessarily an improvement on real life. Normal people are not always boring. On the contrary. Volatility

in 1949, in an obscure Australian medical journal, Mogens pounced on it and began almost immediately the rigorous clinical trials necessary to establish the efficacy and safety of the drug. He talked with ease about his family history of mental illness and emphasized that it had been this strongly personal motivation that had driven virtually all of his research. He made it clear to me that he suspected my involvement in clinical research about manic-depressive illness was likewise personally

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