An Unquiet Mind

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness - Kay Redfield Jamison

I picked up a used copy of this at the Goodwill.


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.



There was several reasons I picked up this book, not the least being that is was super cheap. I was a psychology major in college. I love memoirs. And most importantly, one of my dearest loved ones lives with bipolar disorder so this is something I live day after day.


What I liked: I was worried that as Dr. Jamison is a psychologist, the book would laden with a scientific abstract of Dr. Jamison's bipolor disorder. Luckily I did not have to worry, it was a very honest and personal account. I loved Dr. Jamison's honesty about her illness and the negative effects it had in her life. It made me very thankful that my loved one does not suffer from such a severe case.


What I didn't like: This book takes place primarily in the 70's-80's so it is somewhat dated. As it wasn't a scientific book, per say, it doesn't make much of a difference...but if it was a bit more up to date it would probably be a good source to use as a supplement in a psych class in high school or college.