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An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness (1995)

by Kay Redfield Jamison

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4,124632,915 (3.93)82
Biography & Autobiography. Medical. Psychology. Nonfiction. HTML:NATIONAL BESTSELLER â?˘ A deeply powerful memoir about bipolar illness that has both transformed and saved livesâ??with a new preface by the author. 

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 medic
… (more)
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    Hyper : en beretning om uro by Pernille Dysthe (grmb)
    grmb: Bøkene omhandler kvinner som i voksen alder fĂĄr en diagnose pĂĄ en kronisk psykiatrisk lidelse som i stor grad innvirker pĂĄ deres liv, sitt forhold til seg selv og andre. Begge bøkene gir et godt innenfra perspektiv pĂĄ hvordan det kan oppleves ĂĄ ikke ha kontroll pĂĄ stemningsnivĂĄ og uro. Begge bøkene kan bidra til økt forstĂĄelse for hvordan lidelsene; henholdsvis ADHD og bipolar lidelse arter seg-og at mennesker med psykiatrisk lidelse har en diagnose-ikke er en diagnose. De er to kvinner som finner sine strategier ĂĄ leve med sitt handicap-pĂĄ godt og vondt.… (more)
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English (62)  German (1)  All languages (63)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Could be good for someone with bipolar disorder, but not necessarily applicable to all cases ( )
  mmundorf | Apr 22, 2024 |
Dr Kay Redfield Jamison is one of the world’s greatest authorities on mood disorders, particularly bipolar disorder, which was previously called manic-depressive illness or manic depression, and she is a tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, after holding a similar position at UCLA, and an Honorary Professor of English at the University of St Andrews. She is a highly gifted writer who has published several superb books; I can recommend "Exuberance: The Passion for Life", "Nothing Was the Same: A Memoir", and "Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament." As if this wasn’t enough, there are two other things that make Dr Jamison even more remarkable: she is a clinical psychologist, not a psychiatrist, which is unusual in a medical school department, especially one with the reputation of Johns Hopkins, and she has suffered with bipolar disorder since she was a teenager.

In "An Unquiet Mind," Dr Jamison describes her own difficulties as a sufferer of severe bipolar I (manic depressive) disorder and how she fought taking lithium for years before finally accepting that this highly effective medicine would provide her with the inner peace that she was long searching for, and how she somehow managed to be a highly effective clinician, and one who brought her own knowledge of the disorder to the table and allowed the trainees who worked under her to provide the best care for the patients who were treated at Hopkins, while conducting research and writing prolifically.

In addition to being a highly interesting story "An Unquiet Mind" is a page turner that I found nearly impossible to put down. I read it for the first time shortly after it was published in 1995, during my last year or two of medical school, and I knew that I would reread it again someday. I had no idea that I would be diagnosed with bipolar disorder this year, so it was an easy decision to borrow it from my local library system. It was just as good the second time around, and I’m certain that I’ll be reading more of Dr Jamison’s books in the coming months. ( )
  kidzdoc | Apr 4, 2024 |
"It is, after all, not just an illness, but something that affects every aspect of my life; my moods, my temperament, my work, and my reactions to almost everything that comes my way. not talking about manic-depressive illness, if only to discuss it once, generally consigns a friendship to a certain inevitable level of superficiality."

My therapists are inconsistent as to whether or not they diagnose me manic-depressive/bi-polar or simply clinically depressed, but I find most of Jamison’s story to be profoundly familiar. ( )
  Kim.Sasso | Aug 27, 2023 |
Intense and personal--the story of manic depression and how one person lived through it. Very sad, to see how people live with this illness. I kind of don't understand why she was not interested in taking her lithium like she was supposed to, especially with all that background she had dealing with mental illness. Amazing what our brain chemicals can do to us. ( )
  kwskultety | Jul 4, 2023 |
it wasn't like, the most amazing memoir I've ever read, but it was really interesting. It got a little repetitive and I feel like I got the gist of it once I was halfway through. ( )
  ninagl | Jan 7, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
I doubt sometimes whether
a quiet & unagitated life
would have suited me—yet I
sometimes long for it.
—Byron
Dedication
For my mother,
Dell Temple Jamison
 
Who gave me life not
once, but countless times
First words
Prologue
When it's two o'clock in the morning, and you're manic, even the UCLA Medical Center has a certain appeal.
I was standing with my head back, one pigtail caught between my teeth, listening to the jet overhead.
Quotations
"Moods are such an essential part of the substance of life, of one's notion of oneself, that even psychotic extremes in mood and behavior can somehow be seen as temporary, even understandable, reactions to what life has dealt."
"It took me far too long to realize that lost years and relationships cannot be recovered, that damage done to oneself and others cannot always be put right again, and that freedom from the control imposed by medication loses its meaning when the only alternatives are death and insanity."
"If we got rid of all the manic-depressives on the medical school faculty, not only would we have a much smaller faculty, it would also be a far more boring one." (chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital)
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Biography & Autobiography. Medical. Psychology. Nonfiction. HTML:NATIONAL BESTSELLER â?˘ A deeply powerful memoir about bipolar illness that has both transformed and saved livesâ??with a new preface by the author. 

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 medic

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In her memoir, Unquiet Mind, Jamison tells of her battle with the illness: the joy of the manic highs, which gave her an omnipotent feeling of cosmic connectedness, and the terrifying depressions, when she wanted only to die. An Unquiet Mind tells of how Jamison used her zeal and intensity, and her impressive intellectual gfts, to bring the complexities of manic-depressive illness to the world's attention. Her work has helped save countless lives.
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