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An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and…
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An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

by Kay Redfield Jamison

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,527312,396 (3.92)51
  1. 20
    The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks (meggyweg)
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    The Rules of the Tunnel: A Brief Period of Madness by Ned Zeman (kraaivrouw)
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    Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania by Andy Behrman (SqueakyChu)
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    The Day the Voices Stopped: A Schizophrenic's Journey from Madness to Hope by Ken Steele (meggyweg)
  5. 00
    A Mood Apart: The Thinker's Guide to Emotion and Its Disorders by Peter C. Whybrow (meggyweg)
  6. 01
    Hyper : en beretning om uro by Pernille Dysthe (grmb)
    grmb: Bøkene omhandler kvinner som i voksen alder får en diagnose på en kronisk psykiatrisk lidelse som i stor grad innvirker på deres liv, sitt forhold til seg selv og andre. Begge bøkene gir et godt innenfra perspektiv på hvordan det kan oppleves å ikke ha kontroll på stemningsnivå og uro. Begge bøkene kan bidra til økt forståelse 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 å leve med sitt handicap-på godt og vondt.… (more)
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English (30)  German (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
As someone with bipolar disorder (or manic depressive disorder, if you prefer), I know this kind of subject matter well. Reading the author's unfolding story had me doing a lot of "yep, been there and done that" but also a lot of "wow, I'm glad that didn't happen to me" and "huh, I wonder why THIS didn't happen to her even though it happened to me so many times".

I expected all of that. People with bipolar disorder stop at a lot of the same way stations but travel between them in a huge array of styles.

What I didn't expect was for this book to be so triggering for me, primarily in the explanation of how hard it is to stay on medication. While reading those parts, I found myself longing for the person that *I* was without medication. This is a struggle that it seems like nobody really escapes (at least nobody that I've known), and the fact that I felt it so keenly while reading this book makes me suspect that the author does a good job of conveying how hard it can be to stay medicated - even when you know intellectually that it's saving your life.

Would somebody 'normal' find this as good of a read as I did? No clue... but I'm probably as close to 'normal' as I'll ever get and I liked it. :)
1 vote ratastrophe | Jan 12, 2015 |
I took the grace of reading this book without reading any reviews on it to prevent bias. I fucking hated it anyways.

I felt the presence of men all over the book. Kay rarely mentioned women and the only ones who showed up were her mother and older sister. It was overly suffocating and I felt condescended to when Kay mentioned her achievements and the oppression she felt when her mental illness prevented her from accomplishing what her WASP/Ivy status allowed her to do.

Her writing was good but it was not enough to distract me from her abysmal egocentricity about her sex life, her list of lovers, and all those men who were her friends. I don't understand why she doesn't talk about any female friends...maybe she doesn't have any? I understand that's reasonable since to each their own but I'm still baffled.

There was so much centralization on SEX and MEN. what the actual fuck
Like if I wanted to read about romance, I would've searched out a love story! (and I love romance, by the way; it adds a lot of fun to an otherwise tragic book that takes itself too seriously with its sad, gory, and fantastical elements)

Sorry, I read this book expecting a book on mood disorder and that's what it was marketed as but I now want my money back. I didn't EVEN BUY THE DAMN BOOK. never mind I actually want my time back. This book wasted my time and it wasn't even about how unlikable Kay was. I'm sick and tired of this book, it's only 228 pages and it's saturated with achievements, her rise to prestigious job positions, and the amount of support she received from men. Okay, yeah, you garnered a lot of attention from men and you also have a lot of handsome friends.

Your two best friends in high school were handsome, sardonic and super popular GUYS in high school. Thanks for describing that, did it contribute to your story, influence your illness or even impact your life?!!! Because you briefly drop them and then talk about other guys you meet in college, husbands (yes, husbandS), and turbulent love affairs.

Keep in mind I have a 8-page paper due in a few hours and all of it to be written by referring to this book. And yet, wa-la!...here I am writing about how much cock and bull I read wastefully. And surprisingly, I wrote so much and infinitely quickly on my subjective review of this book than my actual assignment essay!

A lot of the aforementioned male friends and people who supported you need not be included because Kay did not show their long-term support. She would talk about them for a few pages and then it would all revert back to her. They are then dropped and I never hear about them again (except for maybe the psychiatrist and her family). Nearly every men she comes into contact with was always first and foremost described physically and usually as devastatingly handsome and/or charming.

Her self-centeredness and grandiosity is beyond belief. ( )
  Annannean | Jan 6, 2015 |
Psychiatrist Kay Jamison details the mind of a manic/depressive patient from the concurrent lenses of patient and practitioner. Informative, compassionate, insightful. How to translate this book to the classroom? Biology, pharmacology? I would love to have highschool students be able to pinpoint the pathology and possibly the pharmacological mechanism of lithium.

This book simultaneously humanizes and medicalizes bipolar disorder, and in my opinion needed to be written in order to keep destigmatizing mental illness ( )
  Desirichter | Jul 14, 2014 |
Clinical, yet easy enough for the layman to understand. Goes through both the experiences of the trained and obviously very intelligent psychatrist(logist? Can't remember) who is dealing with bi-polar, otherwise known as manic-depressive disorder. Fascinating, but I think it might be especially helpful for individuals with the disorder, or people who have family members with the disorder, as in my case. A great read. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
a popular book re bipolar. Julie Evans Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
  RCPsychLibrary | Jan 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (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
When it's two o'clock in the morning, and you're manic, even the UCLA Medical Center has a certain appeal. (Prologue)
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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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679763309, Paperback)

In Touched with Fire, Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychiatrist, turned a mirror on the creativity so often associated with mental illness. In this book she turns that mirror on herself. With breathtaking honesty she tells of her own manic depression, the bitter costs of her illness, and its paradoxical benefits: "There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness and terror involved in this kind of madness.... It will never end, for madness carves its own reality." This is one of the best scientific autobiographies ever written, a combination of clarity, truth, and insight into human character. "We are all, as Byron put it, differently organized," Jamison writes. "We each move within the restraints of our temperament and live up only partially to its possibilities." Jamison's ability to live fully within her limitations is an inspiration to her fellow mortals, whatever our particular burdens may be. --Mary Ellen Curtin

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:47 -0400)

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The author recounts her own personal struggle with manic-depression and how it has shaped her life.

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