April 1997

An Unquiet Mind

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry Cornell University Medical Center 525 E 68th St, Box 171 New York, NY 10021


by Kay Redfield Jamison, 224 pp, $22, ISBN 0-679-44373-6, New York, NY, Knopf, 1995.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1997;54(4):388-389. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1997.01830160116015

Kay Jamison provides unique insights for psychiatrists in this captivating autobiographical memoir. She writes prose eloquently, has lived as a person with manic-depression for 30 years, has treated and cared for bipolar patients as a clinical psychologist, and has performed and published thoughtful clinical research on this disorder. From these many perspectives, Jamison gives an informative autobiographical account of the symptoms and phases of manic-depressive illness, which is enriched by her masterful analysis of the broader implications, not only for the life she has lived, but also for illnesses occurring in clinicians and physicians involved in patient care. She also delves into deep philosophical issues raised by modern medical treatments and genetic discoveries. Jamison demonstrates a wonderful ability to shift from a deeply emotional subjective experience to an objective vantage of analysis, classification, and empiricism. From my perspective as a research psychiatrist having a special interest in bipolar illness, I

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