An Unquiet Mind The subject of Bipolar is a condition that one of my four daughters suffers with. As a family we have never been told how best to deal with it, how to be supportive and what it must be like. This book has provided the answers to many questions and is now regarded as the most frequently read manual. A thought provoking insight into the troubled mind and a must for everybody who has contact with this problem, whether it be as a patient or family.
Jamison provides the definitive first-person narrative of the effect of manic depression, and all mood disorders. She manages to intelligently discuss medicating an 'uniquiet mind' whilst not reducing the questioning this invokes. She combines a lucid account of psychotic and depressive symptoms and their pull, whilst not down-playing the suffering this produces for sufferer and family. Most importantly, she gives the sufferer hope that extreme traits can be moderated whilst remaining the same person. The book is a superb read, and the issues it raises can be extrapolated to everyone's life, not just those of the mentally ill.
This is a fantastic true story of Kay Redfield Jamison determination to live her life for herself rather than give into illness. If you have bipolar(like myself)you will find this book inspirational and it will leave you with a feeling of hope.
This book genuinely helped me come to terms with my diagnosis. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who want to step into the shoes of someone dealing with bipolar or to gain piece of mind that bipolar needn't dictate you life.
Is this book unrealistic and unrepresentative ? Most depressives are not sheltered , protected university professors , with supporting and protective friends..............rather it is a life of loneliness, fear and self loathing, where strangers announce that they "will not eat with people who are clinically depressed". Where prejudice and stigma aggravate self loathing.. A very well written tale of the undoubted suffering of a genuine , sensitive , manic depressive, who , I suspect , appreciates her position in a soft spoken , protective and supportive university environment. Perhaps only a highly literate , university professor, is capable of producing this book , and the average jobless , friendless depressive will remain silent and unpublished.
There are some aspects of this book which rung so true for me; those were enlightening. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy the far too formal 'voice' of what should be a deeply personal memoir. I appreciate this author is an academic and that shows throughout, but I wish she'd written this more casually so it didn't feel like I was reading a clinical thesis.
Also, as someone who's lived with bipolar disorder (it runs in my family, and I've worked with other sufferers), I am amazed to the point of disbelief with the memory recall of this author. Our issues (and the treatments for them) often wipe memories altogether, or seriously fog over the memory so that nothing is crisp, all is somewhat hazy, and this does make me wonder how 'factual' the details recounted here actually are.
An excellent read, a remarkable account of a journey through manic-depressive illness. Anyone diagnosed with manic-depression or has an interest will find this a moving, eye opening and inspiring book. Kay Jamison's shares her honest heartfelt thoughts and feelings, a lady to be truly admired.