in the same week i discovered an old friend of mind had been suffering since college with bipolar disorder, a random stranger struck up a conversation with me about the subject at a bar. it turned out the stranger worked with sufferers of mental illnesses, particularly those with mood disorders (manic-depression, depression, etc.) and recommended this book. coincidentally, i’d already come across the book in my research and i was happy to see his enthusiasm about the book as a mental health professional.
an unquiet mind (1995) is a beautifully written and thoroughly informative autobiography about kay redfield jamison, a professor of psychiatry suffering from manic-depressive disorder. it captures the ins and outs of the disease from both a personal and clinical perspective. her story spans her predictable and quaint upbringing as a military brat through the heartbreaking turmoil she encountered with love, career, and family as she battled the disease for more than 20 years. jamison’s writing is truly poetic, adding some humanness to the monstrous disease and i found it interesting the way she structured of her storytelling; full, fast, sometimes random, the way i imagine thoughts would fly out of someone suffering from bipolar disorder.
if this sort of thing strikes your fancy as it does mine or you or someone you know if struggling with bipolar disorder, i highly recommend picking it up. it’s a great read either way.