An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir Of Moods And Madness By Kay Redfield Jamison

1494 Words 6 Pages
I chose to read An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison. Before taking this class, I only knew a few things about bipolar disorder. Most of what I had learned about bipolar had come from Google searches in wondering if I too suffered from the disorder because of it being prevalent within my family on my absent father’s side. What I learned from Google was that bipolar is a disorder that can cause people to have mood swings, there were two different types of bipolar, and that the drug lithium could be used to treat this disorder. Some of the things that I had learned from the textbook were the differences between bipolar I and II, the diagnostic criteria involved in bipolar disorder, and why bipolar occurs. Some …show more content…
These factors would include things like genetics, hormones and neurochemicals. Genetic heritability plays a large part in who develops bipolar. This disorder has a 79 to 93% heritability rate, meaning it is likely to be passed down from one person to another. Chromosomal abnormalities could also explain who is likely to have or develop bipolar disorder. Chromosomal abnormalities have been found on eight different chromosomes: 1, 5, 11, 12, 13, 17, 22, and X. Neurochemicals dopamine and glutamate in excessive amounts can cause damage to the brain and may explain why manic episodes occur. Underactive thyroid levels may be caused by rapid cycling one may experience with bipolar disorder. Biological treatments of bipolar disorder are medications such as mood stabilizers. Examples of mood stabilizing drugs would include carbamazepine, divalproex, lamotrigine, lithium, olanzapine, and thorazine. These drugs are around 46 to 58 percent effective in treating patients who have acute mania. Lithium and divalproex can be more helpful for patients who experience rapid cycling and mixed features of bipolar …show more content…
It was interesting to read about Dr. Jamison’s first-hand experience with bipolar I disorder. I was able to empathize with her experience throughout the entire memoir. I found it interesting how despite having severe bipolar I disorder, she was able to overcome it and become a highly successful clinical psychologist. When she wrote about her struggles with taking Lithium to treat her disorder and how it made it harder to do things that she loved such as reading. She describes her experience with taking Lithium and how in the beginning it would make her so sick that she feared leaving her home because she did not want to vomit in public around other people. Her side effects lead her to stopping her treatment for a while, but it was better for her to be on medications because the benefits outweigh the harm. I learned that having bipolar disorder can be a truly terrifying experience. Before she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, her manic episodes were not hurtful at the start of her disorder, and were helpful for her to get work done quicker than usual. Reading a personal account of this disorder helps to put into perspective how the disease affects a person. The effects can be felt in different ways from person to

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