An Unquiet Mind: a Review

In: Novels

Submitted By dsb583
Words 424
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Kay Redfield’s memoir, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, is a clinical and personal perspective on bipolar disorder—both deeply moving and clinically correct. As a psychiatrist, Dr. Jamison brings an unparalleled perspective to the manic-depressive memoir shelf. She’s able to cut deep into the subject with professionalism, meaningful diction, care, compassion, and most important of all—true life experience.
She begins early in her life as an overall normal kid. Her parents are both caring and intellectual, which goes a long way in influencing her passion for science. Her father was a military pilot who she seemed to love deeply. However, Dr. Redfield digs into deep into her father’s troubled side—which clearly mimics bipolar disorder symptoms—demonstrating manic depression’s genetic link.
Her manic depression doesn’t kick in full force till her college years. Due to her father’s instability, he lost his job—ruining her chance to attend the college of her choice. But, Dr. Jamison noted that her attendance at UCLA proved the best option for her—offering a diverse culture, and plenty of research opportunities. Unfortunately, her college years were marked with a bipolar struggle that led her to conclude—that unlike most people’s college years—her time was quite dismal.
She writes that she was hesitant to expose her bipolar disorder due to possible ramifications from the psychiatry community and her patients—such as a lack of confidence in her ability to do administration duties and proper counseling sessions—which she feared would lead to her losing her state certification. None of which happens, thankfully, and she was able to merge her manic depression and psychiatry into a life package that allows her to see both sides of with equal precision—giving both her colleagues and patients an almost unheard of insightful approach to psychotherapy.

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