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Publisher's Summary

The personal memoir of a manic depressive and an authority on the subject describes the onset of the illness during her teenage years and her determined journey through the realm of available treatments.
©1995 Kay Redfield Jamison (P)2010 Random House
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Critic Reviews

"From Kay Redfield Jamison - an international authority on manic-depressive illness, and one of the few women who are full professors of medicine at American Universities - a remarkable personal testimony: the revelation of her own struggle since adolescence with manic depression, and how it shaped her life. With vivid prose and wit, she takes us into the fascinating and dangerous territory of this form of madness - a world in which one pole can be the alluring dark land ruled by what Byron called the 'melancholy star of the imagination,' and the other a desert of depression and, all too frequently, death." (Amazon.com review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Kyle on 05-24-13

Heavily Abridged!!!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

This book is five stars, but the audiobook is roughly half of the paper book. Well done, read by Jamison herself, but leaves out a lot of what makes the book great. You still get the core of the story, and it makes sense, but you loose all the little details and other pieces that make this a wonderful story.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Casey Wagner on 10-17-11

It Says Unabridged. That is incorrect.

I downloaded this title today, so I'd have a copy when I return the borrowed paper book version I have. It quickly became apparent that there are parts missing, so I began reading along and this is certainly *not* the Unabridged version.
On a single page several paragraphs were chopped in half. The book, which has four parts, has been whittled down to three. Someone, somewhere, has a very loose definition of unabridged.
Still, I'm enjoying what I hear. I just wonder what I'm going to miss from the continuation of the audiobook.

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41 of 43 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By lily on 05-16-16

Read if you are bipolar- you will understand

I listened to it all in one day and not one point did I stop listening.
It was incredibly insightful, and moving for someone with bipolar
I cried at the end!!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 08-08-18

A wonderful account

As somebody who lives with bipolar I can say that this book has helped me immensely. Kay has a wonderful ability to articulate her experiences, thoughts and feelings, all of which resonate with my own. I only wish I could get all of my family, friends and colleagues to listen / read this book so as to better understand my illness.

I found the narration to be calming and very listenable.

Highly recommended.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 07-15-18

Rewarding and Insightful

Kay’s ability to find the words and accurately depict the highs and lows of manic depressive illness are a gift to all who have come into contact with the illness. I am glad that she found the courage and dignity to tell her personal story and it is a tremendous help to others - very few are brave enough to articulate the harsh realities and positives of the illness in such a truthful and well considered way. Well done Kay and thank you very much for your very large contribution!

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5 out of 5 stars
By Angela Haynes on 12-27-17

By a psychiatrist who has lived manic depressive illness since her teens

Insightful, in particular as it covers Kay's life with manic depressive illness since her teens, along her path of becoming educated and on to how it has both impacted and benefitted her professional development as a clinical and research psychiatrist.

The three words that come to mind are reality, clarity and hope. I enjoyed this story very much.

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