Dr. Kay Jamison is an American clinical psychologist, writer and a professor of psychiatry at John Hopkins School of Medicine. She is one of the foremost authorities on bipolar disorders and brings an almost unmatched scientific and clinical background to this topic. Dr. Jamison is trained in Clinical Psychology at UCLA, earning her Ph.D. in 1975.
An Unquiet Mind, a book about bipolar disorder was written in 1995. What made this book unique was the fact that Jamison herself has Bipolar 1 Disorder. Her willingness to share her personal experiences provides valuable information about bipolar disorder as well as an interesting read.
In her book, Jamison struggled with making the decision to write this book as she was worried about the possible negative consequence of disclosing this information towards her position as a clinical psychologist. In this book, she describes the intoxicating allure of mania and how this effect makes her and others with bipolar disorder decides against faithfully taking medication. However, she stressed that this intoxicating allure changes one's perception of how one views the world and loosens inhibitions unlike depression where it changes one's perception of the world and impairs the ability to function.
She also wrote about the consequences of mania and how depression and despair follows suit and how she was able to internalise the utter need to be able to manage her disease. Her honest description of her struggles with bipolar gives a valuable insight for those who are also bipolar and for those who are supporting someone with bipolar. Dr. Jamison stressed that to manage bipolar, one has to have a structure to follow, go through psychotherapy, join a social network and take medications faithfully. Also, the love and support of family and friends are equally important.
Despite the book being an interesting read, Jamison failed to address some coping factors that she has used to cope with bipolar in order for her to achieve where she is right now. She mainly stressed her growing up in a military family provided her with a solid foundation of structure, values, with love and support and she attributed all these to her ability to manage her disease as an adult as she was not diagnosed with it until she was in graduate school in the mid 1970's.