Posted by: gypsytales | May 28, 2009

AN UNQUIET MIND by Kay Redfield Jamison

AN UNQUIET MIND by Kay Redfield Jamison

An Unquiet Mind is a poignant confession and a courageous expose of the author’s personal mêlée with manic-depressive illness. 

Trapped in a living sarcophagus of manias and depressions – that ravaged her mind, her strength, her dreams and her relationships – she writes with vulnerability that draws the reader in, making her testimony believable.  Is this a subjective account?  Most definitely! And why not?  Jamison says, we are who we are.  She is also convinced that unless one has personally walked the road of manic-depressive illness, no one can quite possibly understand it.  Being a clinical psychologist, she became her own perfect understudy, developing a special interest in the illness, when at the time not much was known.

Her love of English is evident in the way she describes situations using original explanations and creative thought to provide impact and clarity.  I think her motive for writing the book was greater than the possible humiliation she might have had to face from her peers in mainstream academia.  I might be bold enough to say that if her book brought succor to one tormented soul, she achieved her objective.

We are always tempted by our addictions, no matter how benign they may seem.  The helter-skelter pattern of her earlier years with manic-depressive illness served as a reminder that while she may not have wanted to live on medication for the rest of her life, the risks were far less than putting her confidence in the roll of the dice.

A Memoir of Moods and Madness…this is the story of emancipation from slavery under an oppressive master.

First copyright: 1995

ISBN: 0-330-34651-2



  1. Great Book, I read it several years ago. Very well written, a genuine scope into the crushing malady of the mysteries of Manic Depressive Illness.

  2. It helped a lot of people in the pre-blog era to understand the disease was a thing which could be fought against, and beaten into submission. It’s still an important book… her other work, unfortunately, glorifies the disease and adds to the stereotypes.

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