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

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder resulting to a strange and atypical alteration in person’s temper, vigor, and ability to function. This disorder is very different from the normal conditions that everyone experiences for its symptoms are stern and bleak. Bipolar disorder affects a person in many ways. For example, it could result in damaged relationships, disfavored and poor school or job performances and even, the worst, suicide.

However, nowadays, there’s already a treatment for that kind of brain disorder and people suffering from this could lead to a full and fruitful lives.

Bipolar disorder is distinctive in late adolescence or early adulthood. However, there are cases where symptoms are already seen during childhood and some symptoms build up late in life. It is often not acclaimed as an illness and usually a person may suffer for a long time before it is properly identified and treated.

Like diseases such as diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is also a lasting illness that needs careful management all through one’s life.

Bipolar disorder causes dramatic transfer of frame of mind – from aggressiveness to sad and desperate and goes back again. Bipolar disorder presents a condition of periods of “high” and “low” which refers to the time of mania and depression.

Signs and symptoms of episode of mania include: “(1) increased energy, activity, and restlessness; (2) excessively ‘high’, overly good, euphoric mood; (3) extreme irritability; (4) racing thoughts and talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another; (5) distractibility, can’t concentrate well; (6) little sleep needed; (7) unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities and powers; (8) poor judgment; (9) spending sprees; (10) a lasting period of behavior that is different from usual; (11) increased sexual drive; (12) abuse of drugs, particularly cocaine, alcohol, and sleeping medications; (13) provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behavior, and; (14) denial that anything is wrong” (The National Institute of Mental Health, 2001).

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Signs and symptoms of period of depression include: “(1) lasting sad, anxious, or empty mood; (2) feelings of hopelessness or pessimism; (3) feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness; (4) loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex; (5) decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue or of being “slowed down’; (6) difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions; (7) restlessness or irritability; (8) sleeping too much, or can’t sleep; (9) change in appetite and/or unintended weight loss or gain; (10) chronic pain or other persistent bodily symptoms that are not caused by physical illness or injury, and; (11) thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts” (The National Institute of Mental Health, 2001). An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison Review Kay Jamison is a Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins School of Medicine and takes us through her maze of manic/depressive illness also known as bi-polar disorder. She has known the heights of creativity and exhilaration. The high at first seemed wonderfully breath-taking but eventually led to exhaustion, a racing mind that knows no bounds, and eventually led to the underworld of deep dark depression that seemed intolerable.

The symptoms of his illness were seen at the stage of her childhood where she was very conscious to the conditions of heightened feelings of wonder. In adolescence stage, she became more sensitive to her father’s darkening temper. In fact, she, together with her friends, rode in a roller coaster. In this event, she experienced illimitable vigor and night long venture into a never-ending deliberations and study. She thought that this feeling was wonderful but if she realizes when she couldn’t control it anymore, she felt afraid of what she felt. Dr. Jamison sought medication and treatment for her fiends are afraid too when she is at the phase of hectic.

She realized that if she would still continue to teach as a professor of Psychiatry in UCLA, she must find a way on how to treat her disease. The author had undergone medical breakthroughs in treating her disease. The treatment was entertaining, non-obscure way so that any lay person or doctors could follow her path and easily go together with her. In fct6, her disease was the cause of her separation from his husband for he could no longer tolerate the mood swings of the wife. However, still, the author compromised the substance of kindness and love. During her treatment, she more recognized that the presence of love and understanding is important in healing process as well as the medication treatment.

Her friends accompanied her in the darkness and lightness of the disease. Any persons who had read this could go into deep realization and awareness of something within oneself. From this enticing book, I hard to think, not on the fact, author is a very good writer, but on how she reach for the treatment of her disease. Sometimes, a person with this kind of disease suffers from the unpleasant side effects of the treatment but they also helped to cope up with. May be, as a reader, one day he could realize and sympathize what the author experienced while fighting with her disease. A person could feel on how patients with this kind of disease had been.

The book marked out the heights of hope and success and creativity to which his family have escalated, as well as the feelings of despair and disgrace. Reaction The book narrates the story of the author’s life but the focus is on how she fought on the struggle with bipolar disorder. The author’s convincingly wrote the book getting the sympathy of its readers. As most other people suffering from any kind of brain disorder, sometimes they hate taking the prescribed medicine. This is also what happened to the author. Sometimes, she wished not to take anymore lithium to treat his disease. However, there are times when she didn’t take it consistently. However, she realized that doing so would even make the disease complicated leading to crisis.

When she at the stage of being slightly hyper, the emotion of being a person and her productivity are at peak. He took her treatment with some feeling of guilt and repentance. She gave emphasis the importance of treatment than the incorporation of medication and therapy. She also met the instance of shame and disgrace that go with stern mental illness. She also experienced where people assumed that her disease is a hereditary suggesting that she should not have children. The time she heard it, sometimes, she thought that life has no longer meaning. The author wrote with such feeling of life’s insignificance and the response to such disgrace. She talked to her colleagues about the responses of them after knowing her mental disorder.

Since she is a professor in Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School, the disclosure of her mental illness would have a negative impact on her profession as well as a person. She gave up his teaching profession and failed to spot treating patients. However, she didn’t look for the place of regret in telling her story. In fact, the book became enticing and powerful in eliciting passion and understanding the people suffering from this kind of disorder. The story of the author’s life while she is enduring her disease remains to me the best. Although she has written so many books, I got interested on this book for it gave me the consciousness and appreciation for all people not just suffering from this disease but for all enduring all kinds of illnesses and disease.

As I read the book, it led me to many emotional experiences especially those it revealed me the sympathy to those ill people. Variety of powerful sentiments filled my life’s emotional aspects. For me, I admired the most interesting subject in the book such as the author’s creativity, discrimination of manic disorder, and the place of all people lying in bed with proper medication and treatment. In addition, I got interested with the book because of its originality and the personal aspects of the book giving other’s people the appreciation and realization of other’s situation enduring from this kind of disease. This book gave me the story of the ups and down, the feelings and helped me to imagine the people suffering from the maniac depressive life.

The author narrated with sympathy and power which seemingly continue to move within one4self emotions and empathy. From this book, I understand with better description and portrayal of bipolar disorder. This is not in the context of the author’s professional knowledge about the disease but the reality of knowing the subject from authors feeling and experiences having lived it. The author had a great impact on emotions from laughing with tears to bitter laughter. Reading this book took me back towards people having this mental illness. Without referring to medical books of what bipolar disorder, through the feelings and experiences by the author, I already ca recognized its meaning.

It helped me to hear the first primary source of what are the actual explanations of what is really goes in the mind of those suffering from it. The book is very interesting literature-like. The way on how the story was delivered revealed on how Jamison is very reminiscent and profound author. Abnormal Psychology in Class In a classroom composing of different individuals, there are times when a person can’t adapt and perform effectively in the range of many conditions. The physical conditions of a classroom can contribute towards ‘abnormal functioning’ of a pupil/student. For example, a student may experience personal distress. This suffering is a very simple thought used to categorize abnormal behavior.

In addition, since a classroom is also a place for socialization, learning reasoning, individuals make necessary adaptation with its surroundings. Reading this book, will give insights about abnormal psychology, a study of the abnormality of behavior. This book provides an interpretation of perspective regarding bipolar disorder, an abnormal behavior. A disorder like this is under the field of the abnormal psychology. The Lessons Kay Jamison would like to share to other psychologist that understudying and love is needed to facilitate the treatment of metal disorder. From his experience when her husband has separated from her, he felt the significance of a person accompanying you with his understanding and love.

In addition, sharing of what you experienced is very important, especially when it comes to health problems. Experience reveals the actual picture and description of a person having a certain disease. Once you share, you also care. Through her experiences, people are provided with the behavior and functioning patterns of a person having it. The author would like to share its readers what is the real conditions of a person suffering from this kind of mental disorder. In times of hardships and complexity, the thought of suicide or any other death-procedure scene due to illness or problem are not the keys to end sufferings. In this world, problems are not just a part of life, but it is life itself. Every one of us experiences hardship.

However, these suffering will even become a teacher on how to overcome life’s misery. People get more strong and stable as they go hardships. After we experienced life’s adversity, it would have a positive impact on our lives that would result in our more curiosity and lessons on how to escape or to overcome those. Bipolar disorder and Creativity Researches continuously uncovered the relationship between bipolar disorder and creativity. One interesting issue is the association with bipolar disorder with creativity of those inflicted. In fact, this creativity is not the typical creativity rather the creative genius. This creative genius is so rare but some well-known people are/were inflicted with it.

An examination made by Nancy Andreasen of the University of Iowa on creative writers and found out 80% has gone through depression, hypomania or mania. A research made by Harvard University showed that manic depressive person has a greater percentage of being creative. In addition, there have been biographical studies of earlier generations of artists and writers which show that they have 18 times the rate of suicide (as compared to the general population), 8-10 times the rate of unipolar depression, and 10-20 times the rate of bipolar depression” (Krishna, 2006). These outcomes provide the substantial evidence that there’s a link between bipolar disorder and creativity. The tendency to bipolar disorder is genetically transmissible.

According a researcher, “a recent study hypothesized that a genetic vulnerability to manic-depressive illness would be accompanied by a predisposition to creativity, which, according to the investigators, might be more prominent among close relatives of manic-depressive patients than among the patients themselves” and “significantly higher combined scores from a creativity assessment test were observed among the manic-depressive patients and their normal first-degree relatives than among the control subjects, suggesting a possible genetic link between the two characteristics, as both are prevalent in families with a history of bipolar disorder and not as evident in control families” (Megatulski, 2003).

Some family members having bipolar disorder revealed a wide variety of talents in many fields such as music, arts, etc. In addition, Megatulski said that “the varied manifestations of creativity within the same family suggest that whatever is transmitted within families is a general factor that predisposes them to a creative mentality, rather than a specific giftedness in a single area” and “the coexistence of creativity accompanied by manic depression, whether expressed in bipolar patients or not expressed in their predisposed family members, suggests that a third factor, yet unidentified, may be orchestrating the expression of the two” (Megatulski, 2003). Many renowned artists suffered from bipolar disorder.

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An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison. (2018, Aug 17). Retrieved from

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