One of my doctors recommended this book, but I really didn't learn much from reading it. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone trying to better understand bipolar disorder. Kay Jamison literally wrote the textbook on bipolar disorder, called "Manic-Depressive Illness", in 1990. Perhaps that's a better book than this one. She's a PhD who studied overseas at one point. Jamison never really describes the feelings or struggles she went through during the timeframe of the book. I found it very difficult to relate to her extraordinary life, and would have preferred if she had been more personal with her descriptions of the mood swings, how she dealt with them, and their consequences. I guess I'm looking for a book by a bipolar midwestern housewife with a family and job she's trying to balance along with her illness, rather than a privileged PhD with opportunities and resources that 99% of the people with bipolar disorder will never have.
- How did the image on site compare with the actual product? exact match
- How accurate was the on site description of the product? very accurate
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. good
The author opens her her mind and emotions to the reader. Her descriptions of mania and depression are so vivid. She gets to the heart of experiences relating to mental illness - both positive and negative. She has the vocabulary and intelligence to convey the scientific aspects of the disease. However, what makes this book special is that the professional discussion and analysis can be found on the same page as the intense emotional experiences, because they are both a part of the author.
It is difficult to call this book "entertaining" because of the gravity of the subject matter. I'm not sure what it says for any of us to call a memoir "entertaining". Regardless, this book is well written, smart and incredibly informative. I understand my father MUCH better after having read this--he was diagnosed with bi-polar last year and I've struggled to understand what he's going through. As a writer myself, I have difficulty reading poorly-written work and I have to give high kudos to Kay Jamison and her ability to create a beautiful prose with such a difficult subject. What a brave, remarkable and talented woman.
This is a riveting read, I hardly could put it down--on a misunderstood chemical imbalance that some 1-2 to more percent of people suffer from. Until you've seen it, until you've learned to understand it isn't a choice people make--but one that they are driven to--you won't understand. Kay does a fabulous job of pulling the reader into the head of every person, a person who is bipolar. This allows the reader to either sympathize or empathize (depending on your situation) with not only Kay, but family and friends--who we love but don't 'get'. Worth the cost, and as was told to me by psychologists and MDs...a classic. Unfortunately asking about the "entertainment value" a bit sick, unless you are into illnessness. But then, a one size fits all rating is like that.
If you ARE BiPolar or are close to someone who IS, this book is a must-have!!! My partner was diagnosed BiPolar 2 years ago, and I've been researching the disease every since. NOWHERE else have I found the quality and quantity of information that is included in this book. I recommend it VERY, VERY HIGHLY!!!!