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An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  29,146 ratings  ·  1,719 reviews

In her bestselling classic, An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison changed the way we think about moods and madness.

Dr. Jamison is one of the foremost authorities on manic-depressive (bipolar) illness;she has also experienced it firsthand. For evenwhile she was pursuing her career in academic medicine, Jamison found herself succumbing to the...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 14th 1997 by Vintage (first published September 5th 1994)
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Community Reviews

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i was reading some reviews of the book written by people that disliked this.

i just want to say, that for a person suffering from mental illness, the fact that you know jamieson's full CV and her academic struggles is important. it's more of a - look, she was wildly successful, and dealing with this illness, and she finally came to terms with it, and now she's okay - and still wildly successful.

i also want to say how brave it was for her to write this under her own name. it does a lot to irradi...more
Mar 16, 2011 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: recently dxed bookish types
A lot of people seem to have a negative reaction to this book, which I totally get. I didn't find Jamison a particularly likable person, and this wasn't great literature, though it did go down fast and smooth.

Be that as it may, I've strongly recommended An Unquiet Mind several times, and I can't judge it by the normal standards that I apply to most books. I see An Unquiet Mind as performing a specific and vital function, at which I think it succeeds extremely well: that is, Jamison's memoir does...more
Just ran across this review of "An Unquiet Mind" that I wrote a couple of years ago (January 2009). As I go back through blog posts, Twitter feeds, book reviews, etc., it amazes me how difficult a time *I* was having... and how I was paying NO attention to that whatsoever. It was all about someone else. And really, in this book, that's how Jamison seems to think it should be.

I just had the opportunity to re-read this book when it was offered on the Kindle, and I was surprised. I seemed to rememb...more
May 28, 2009 Anoud rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anoud by: حمد العيسى
عقل غير هادئ هو عنوان لكتاب بالفعل "غير هادئ" و كاتبة غير هادئة !...

الدكتورة والاكاديمية المتخصصة في علم النفس –كاي جاميسون- تحكي في صفحات كتابها عن قصة صراعها مع ما يسمى بذهان الهوس الاكتئابي . ذلك المرض "العضوي" النفسي المؤدي الى حالات متفاوته ما بين اقصى موجات الهوس (الحماسة والنشاط المفرطة الناتجة عن خلل في الدماغ) و موجات قصوى تتبعها من الاكتئاب الشديد المؤدي عادة الى الانتحار . من خلال هذا التعريف البسيط للمرض ، قد يصبح من الممكن تصور الحالة او الحياة -ان صح التعبير- التي يعيشها كل من يعان...more
لا تستطيع أن تنأى بنفسك بعيداً عن نفسك وأنت تقرأ هذا الكتاب البديع..

تشعر لوهلة أنك ضعت في متاهات نفس إنسانية شديدة التعقيد..

الكاتبة طبيبة نفسية مشهورة ومريضة نفسية مصابة بذهان الهوس الإكتئابي وكاتبة ومولعة بكل فنون الأدب والموسيقى...

أي مزيج غريب سينشأ عن عقل كهذا، تتجول في متاهاته..تعرف كيف كان يشعر وبماذا يفكر..

وتظن أنها في لمحات خاطفة قد تحدثت عنك وعن نفسك المخبوءة في أعمق نقطة..

حكت الكاتبة معاناتها..طفولتها التي تبدو معقولة ومتميزة..متى وكيف بدأ مرضها..أيام هوسها ثم ظلمات اكتئابها..

حكت كيف يم...more
Oct 03, 2007 Tia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those trying to understand manic depression, autobiography enthusiasts, glamorizers of insanity
An autobiography of a brilliant woman who suffered from manic depression (she resists the more watered down label "bipolar" because she thinks it hides the essential nature of the disease.) She made it through a PhD in psychology and became one of the foremost authorities in her field before finally getting the consistent treatment she needed. Just seeing how she was able to achieve such professional success while privately dealing with such hellish, frightening moments of near insanity is enoug...more
I'm still not quite sure what I think of this book. It was recommended to me by a therapist thinking I would be interested as someone with bipolar disorder. Due to the source of the suggestion and the author of the book, an expert on and individual with bipolar disorder, I expected some practical insight into living with this disease. What I found was much different.

This book is labeled a memoir, and the writing style and content certainly fit the label. Unfortunately, the author seemed to try t...more

قبل البدء: اقرأ الكتاب ولا تسقط الأعراض على نفسك، فتتوهم- كما يفعل البعض- إصابتك بالمرض!!


اختارت كاي ردفيلد جاميسون أن تكتب...وتخترق حجب الصمت، وتعلن على الملأ ما يحاول الكثيرون إخفاءه..خوفا من نظرة المجتمع وأرباب العمل والعائلة...ولكن كاي أرادت لمعاناتها بعدا آخر بأن تكون تلك التجربة ذات نفع لمن هم في مثل حالتها

تحكي كاي قصتها بكل الجرأة والشجاعة والصدق...عن إصابتها بــ (ذهان الهوس الاكتئابي) أو (الاضطراب الوجداني ثنائي القطبين)، وتخضع لعلاج نفسي، وكاي ليست إنسانة عادية لأنها تروي رحلتها مع مرض ت
rachel  misfiticus
So far... about half way done...

1 star for her vanity and pretension

5 stars because of the taxidermic fox

3 stars being a calculated average


Perhaps I have been corrupted by the reviews I read before finishing this book; however, I am still trying to wash Kay Redfield Jamison’s self-haughtiness out of my mind. I think that the first chapter and the last chapter are the only ones with any weight. Chapter one is about Jamison’s childhood and more specifically, her manic father. The second...more
This was overrated. I learned very little about what it's like to actually have manic-depression; Dr. Jamison preferred to write about her love life and her visits to England. She glossed over her suicide attempt and the only description of hospitalization is that of one of her patients. Also, the memoir skips back and forth in time and it's irritating. There are better books out there.
Mar 13, 2011 jo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with bipolar disorder
just re-read this for class. maybe i'll post a a review later. for now, though, i raised my four-star rating to five. the ways in which KRJ thinks about mental illness are not always congenial with mine, but this is a brave, beautifully written, and still very powerful book, many such memoirs later.

REVIEW 3/12/11

i'm not going to research this, but i think this was one of the first candid memoirs of mental disorder coming from someone famous/mainstream in the US and published by a major publishe...more
If you are manic-depressive and reading this book, these are the take away points: make sure you have an amazingly supportive, selfless and kind parent (the other one probably gave you the bad genes), make sure you are blond and cute so men trip over themselves to provide you with a loving relationship in which you can recuperate, make sure you're studying psychiatry so that you are surrounded by qualified physicians, and take lithium. Oh, and don't forget the psychotherapy which is the ONLY thi...more
Ibrahim Jabarin إبراهيم جبارين

بِحقّ، هذهِ السيرة مُلهِمَة
النجمَة الناقِصَة هيَ لأنّني أكرَهُ توصيف الحبّ بأنهُ العلاقَة المتمثّلة بين ذكَرٍ وأنثى
وهو ما عنَتْهُ الدكتورة كآي عندما قالَت: الحبّ كعاملٍ مؤازر، الحبّ كعنصرٍ مجدد، والحبّ كأداةِ حماية

بعيداً عن الكتاب قليلاً

أتسائل بيني وبين عقلي، ترى لماذا نحنُ العرب لا نؤمِنُ بالطبّ النفسي؟
أينما نذهب، نرى المضطربين عقليّاً، في المدرسة، درّسني معلّمٌ مادةَ الجغرافيا
كان تأتيهِ نوباتٌ مزاجيّة، تجعله بعض الأحيان يتخيّل أننا سببنا عليه، فيهيل علينا كلّنا، الـ47 طالب في الصفّ، أكواماً من...more
mai ahmd

هذه النوعية من الكتب تأتي أهميتها لأنها تعبر عن كثيرين فهي لسانهم الذي لا يحكي لسانهم العاجز عن التعبير ويدهم المشلولةعن الكتابة ككتاب قدمي اليسرى للرسام كريستي براون ، هذه المشاعر والصراعات والمعاناة التي لا يدري عنها الإنسان الطبيعي أو الصحيح الجسم والخالي من العلل
حقيقة أشعر بكثير من الإمتنان لهذه الجرأة والقدرة على إيصال هذه الرسالة لكاي ولكريستي من قبلها .. لم تؤثر بي هذه الكتب فقط ولكن غيرت بي أشياء كما أحسب

كانت كاي محظوظة نوعا ما لكونها محاطة بالأطباء النفسيين فكلما جاءتها النوبة تلقفتها...more
Aug 28, 2007 Andy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone trying to deny they have this condition even after a positive diagnosis.
Shelves: psychology
Think of this book as an autobiography and you can't go wrong. Kay Redfield Jamison hardly needs an introduction here; her life and work stand for themselves. She literally 'wrote the book' on bipolar disorder with co-author Fred Goodwin, M.D. called, simply enough, "Manic-Depressive Illness."
So this book, "An Unquiet Mind," is not a clinical study of bipolar disorder. It is a deep and personal inside look at what it's like to live with manic depression from the unique viewpoint of a brilliant...more
Mohamed Elshawaf
ماذا لو كتب كل إنسان قصة عن حياته النفسية؟ ماذا لو جرب كل إنسان الصدق؟ ماذا لو واجه كل إنسان نقاط ضعفه بشجاعة؟ حينها سوف نعرف حتمًا إنسانًا آخر غير الذي نعرف، إنساٌ ليس محورًا وإنما هو ذرة تراب عالقة في عجلة تديرها ضروب شتى من المقادير، لكنها ذرة نابضة بالحياة، متضوّعة بالمشاعر النبيلة، أشبه ما تكون بالكون ما قبل الإنفجار العظيم- كتلة ضئيلة تافهة لا شيء يميزها من خارجها، لكنها تحمل طاقات الكون داخلها، حين أفصحت صارت فان جوخ، تشايكوفسكي، روبرت شومان، بيتهوفن، فرانس كافكا، دوستويفسكي... هؤلاء تفجّ...more
Rana Ibrahim
أن تكتب سيرة ذاتية .. هذا أمر يتطلب شجاعة كبيرة إن كنت سوف تكتب بإنصاف
أما أن تكتب عن ذاتك المريضة, عن ذاتك التي لا يعلمها إلا القليل
فاعتقد أن تلك قمة الشجاعة وربما قد يصاحبها القليل من الجنون

اخبرنا مُحاضِرًا ذات مرة أن جميعنا مصابون بعدد لابأس به من أعراض الأمراض النفسية لكنها جميعها توجد فينا بقدر ضئيل جدا لاترقي لأن تصبح مرضا
لذلك لاتفزع عندما تجد نفسك متشابها مع كاي في بعض الأفعال :))

الأصعب من أن تكون مجرد مريض هو أن تكون طبيبا في نفس القسم الذي يحمل اسم مرضك
فأنت تعلم ما ستؤول إليه الأمور, تع...more
أنا ممتنة لله ثم لبشرى لأنها اختارت أن نقرأ هذا الكتاب معا. ممتنة لكل من أوصوا بقراءة الكتاب. أجزم بأن الريفيو عنه سيكون مختلفا وذو نكهة مميزة بحول الله. إلى ذلك الوقت: اذهبوا لأقرب مكتبة وقوموا بشرائه :)
Very interesting look on manic-depressive illness. Read this for my Medicine and Literature class and really enjoyed it. The book is a memoir from the author (Kay Redfield Jamison) who suffers from manic-depressive disorder (bipolar disease) and is also a well respected psychiatrist. This puts a very unique look at the disorder considering she plays both the roles of patient and doctor which also gave her a unique approach to how she treated patients because she was also being treated for a ment...more
Muhammed Hebala
من أجمل و أصدق ما قرأت ، كتاب في قمة الجمال و الروعة.
تصف الكاتبة معاناتها الشديدة و الطويلة مع مرض من أصعب الأمراض النفسية التي من الممكن أن يعاني منها المرء

أثناء رحلتنا معها في هذا الكتاب نحس و نشعر بكل كلمة صادقة من كلماته ، و نشعر كأننا نحن من عانينا نوبات الهياج و الاكتئاب.

تصف الكاتبة مشاعرها و مساوئها و معاناتها و قلقها و اضطرابها بكل صدق و أمانة و تفصيل.

و تصف دور طبيبها و أصدقائها و زوجها و حبيبها في مساعدتها على الفرار من نير النوبات المتتالية التي أصابتها.

كما تصف بكل الحزن و الأسى ما سبب...more
Beautifully written, candid, and informative book about Bipolar Disorder (or as Jamison insists on calling it, manic-depressive disorder). I especially enjoyed the interweaving of the author's clinical knowledge and experience with her own personal struggle. The book also presents a very hopeful and optimistic perspective about mental health challenges. That being said, I couldn't get past the fact that the author does not really acknowledge how her enormously privileged background may have play...more
Anyone even a litle unstable will relate to this book, and probably become convinced that they are bipolar. But that is a personal way to start.
This book irritated me. Well written, albeit showy, her confidence I guess was what was grating. You could praise her optimism and strength in the undercurrent of subtle praise for the benefits that mania imparted on her life, and her vagueness in describing her depressions. And you could say that it should be an inspiration to anyone bipolar/manic-depre...more
Sep 06, 2007 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This was an outstanding read!!

I am a graduate school psych major and was first told about this book 8 years ago when I was a freshman undergrad. My "General Psychology" professor mentioned it to the 400 students in her lecture hall... and I happened to be paying attention. Shortly after I went and bought the book, well before I had even decided to become a psychologist. I am so glad that I listened to her and went to get this book! It has given me such a perspective into the mind of someone with...more
I think a common answer to the question "Why are you reading that?" would be "Out of curiosity." It was largely for that reason I took this book off a "free books" shelf. Either knowingly or unknowingly we have all encountered manic-depressive or bipolar people in our lives. We have certainly heard of the crimes and suicides that sometimes occur when people have gone "off their meds". But until now, I never really understood why. Why would someone prefer extreme highs and lows to mild ups and do...more
Tariq Alferis
عندما يسآلني شخص علي اصدق ، واجمل ، واقوي الكتب في السيرة ذاتية متعة ، حاتكون الاجابة بلا تردد . عقل غير هادى لي كاي جامسون


من منا يستطيع ان يعترف وينعت نفسه انه مصاب بمرض نفسي ،،،،؟

طبعا لا، لانه صعب ،لكن ليس هناك مستحيل ، فعلتها دكتورة علم النفس كاي ، دكتورة مصابة بنفس المرض الي قريت عليه وتخصصت في مجاله ، وتعالج في ناس منه ..!

سيرة مذهلة ، اعتقد انه طفولتها رائعة ، ممتع لما تقرا سيرة ذاتية لي احد العباقرة ، وصادم انه اغلب عباقرة الي تكلمت عليهم دكتورة كاي كانو مصابين بمرض الوجداني ثنائي القطب...more
تَــرُّو ❤
نوعي المفضل من الكتب يجمع بين الانسانية والطب والألهام المشكلة الكتب الشبيهه قليييلة في المكتبة العربية , استمتعت جدًا جدًا بهذا الكتاب وحاولت أن أقرأه ببطء قدر مااستطعت والترجمة على مستوى عالٍ من الجودة ، قصتها مع الأعمى أثرت فيّ بشكل كبير ، من الدروس التي تعلمتها أن لا أحد له القدرة الكاملة ع تفهم معاناة الآخر دون أن يختبرها بنفسه !
سأعود لأكتب مراجعة مفصلة قليلا عندما اجد الوقت
Otis Chandler
Feb 14, 2008 Otis Chandler rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Otis by: Dana
Highly recommended if you are curious about Manic-depressive disease. A fascinating and even very well written insight from a woman who is both a Psychiatrist who treats it and suffers from it. She was very brave and very poetic in writing this book.
فاطمة عبد السلام
ميزة الكتاب أن الكاتبة طبيبة ومريضة في آن واحد فكان الكتاب محمل بوافر البوح عن التجربة الشخصية والحياة الخاصة لها أو بالأحرى لمريض "ذهان الهوس الإكتئابي" كما كانت تحب أن تطلق عليه أو Bipolar affective disorder.
الكتاب وافي من حيث توضيح المرض من خلال تجربتها الخاصة للتعريف به وكرحلة لمعايشة التجربة خلال صفحات كتاب.

" هل نخاطر بجعل العالم تافها ومتجانسا أكثر إذا تخلصنا من الجينات الخاصة بذهان الهوس الإكتئابي إنها مسألة علمية صعبة ومعقدة بشكل لا يمكن انكاره ؟ "
ذكرني هذا السؤال بدعواتنا في احدى المحا...more
Noor Alssarraj
سيرة ذاتية غنية لإخصائية في علم النفس تعاني من مرض ذهان الهوس الاكتئابي المعروف باسم الاضطراب الوجداني ثنائي القطب, وصفت من خلالها عقلها الغير الهادئ المتحرك كبندول بين طرفي نقيض أقصى النشاط فأقصى الهمود و أثر ذلك على حياتها.
"لقد كنت معتادة على كون عقلي هو أحسن صديق لدي, و على إدارة حوارات لا نهاية لها داخل رأسي, و على ما بنيته داخل عقلي من مصدر للضحك و الفكر التحليلي لإنقاذي من البيئة المؤلمة أو المملة , لقد اعتمدت في مسيري على فطنة و تركيز و ولاء عقلي. الن و فجأة انقلب عقلي ضدي: يسخر مني لحم
I was very disappointed by this book. I hoped to gain new insight into what it's like for someone with bipolar disorder, but this book didn't tell me anything I didn't already know just from researching on the Internet and being around the mental health community. Plus, it was almost too happy of a story -- "I had a lot of bad symptoms, but let me gloss over them, 'cause I took a pill, and hey, first pill I tried made me all better!" Maybe I'm exaggerating a tiny bit, but seriously, it seemed so...more
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« 1 12 Mar 13, 2012 01:46PM  
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Kay Redfield Jamison (born June 22, 1946) is an American clinical psychologist an American clinical psychologist and writer who is one of the foremost experts on bipolar disorder. She is Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and is an Honorary Professor of English at the University of St Andrews.
More about Kay Redfield Jamison...
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“Others imply that they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But these experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. It is also tiresome. People cannot abide being around you when you are depressed. They might think that they ought to, and they might even try, but you know and they know that you are tedious beyond belief: you are irritable and paranoid and humorless and lifeless and critical and demanding and no reassurance is ever enough. You're frightened, and you're frightening, and you're "not at all like yourself but will be soon," but you know you won't.” 761 likes
“If I can't feel, if I can't move, if I can't think, and I can't care, then what conceivable point is there in living?” 492 likes
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