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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

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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31 of 33 people found this review helpful


By Laurie on 02-03-10

Loved this book

Richly written description of the very difficult life lead by a suffering manic-depressive. I highly recommend this book. Its not just a study on the illness, you get this great insight from a brilliant woman and its a riveting story of her life.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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


By Bee on 04-14-17

Feels churlish to say but...

Firstly this is a clear account of the effects of bi polar disorder but...
The delivery is flat and matter of fact and I didn't feel much of the emotion the writer must have experienced.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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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By Amazon Customer on 03-05-17

Amazingly good to hear

Some parts were struggle to hear, because the book is so amazinly good. Explains so good about the effects that bipolar disease can have on one's life.

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