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Tue, Feb. 21st, 2006, 02:23 pm
Reading List: An Unquiet Mind

Read: An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison.

This mostly-memoir tells the story of Jamison’s lifelong struggle with manic-depression, interleaved with the story of her own research and that of others on the same topic. She’s made her own illness her life’s work, and the story of how and why she found her passion is moving for me, as I strive to figure out how to follow my own. The tales from the depth of her illness - both the manic and depressive stages - are the most powerful parts of the book, though.  These are states of mind that I can understand, but not comprehend.  Seeing what it’s like, and what Jamison was able to do with her life nevertheless, was moving and inspiring at the same time.  I’m not suicidally depressed, or spending thousands of dollars in a manic spree, or on heavy doses of psychoactive drugs.  She was able to live her life with courage and passion despite her difficulties, and it’s a challenge to me to do the same.