An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison is one of my favorite books about manic depressive illness, and finding this author became a ray of light at an important time of my life… my own personal breakdown. You can find a copy of this excellent read in print on Amazon, and they also have it for the Kindle. Not only is Kay Redfield Jamison the Author, she also works in the mental health industry, and lives with Manic Depressive Illness (aka Bipolar Disorder) herself. She gives a very detailed, educated, yet very personal account of the disorder and how it has shaped her life.
Reading the book sparked the following post originally posted in April 2010…
She touches so well on the circus in my head… literally a psychosis I experienced that was one of the most intense experiences I have ever had. Knowing I was not alone in this chaos was certainly of importance for there is no way to describe to someone what it is like to feel so cold that it feels like fire, or be surrounded by lights that seem so bright everything around you appears surreal. There’s no way to describe how loud a chirping bird sounds, or how strong and fragrant fresh cut grass can create nausea. There’s no way to explain the sound and feel of the earth beneath my feet as I walk…
Nor is there a way to explain what it’s like when all of those experiences are absent… as in a state of depression.
Depression is the monster on my back. It steals everything from me and leaves me with absolutely nothing… nothing other than misery. It leaves me with pain, sickness, indifference, and my most hated phrase: “All I know is I don’t know”.
When depressed, a walk in the park is absent of everything pleasant. I can’t hear children laughing and playing, I can’t smell the BBQ cooking, I can’t hear birds chirping or dogs barking, I can’t feel the breeze or the warmth of the sun, I can’t see people smiling and enjoying themselves, and worst of all… I feel devoid of life in general.
Depression is painful and torturous. It robs me of any happiness and is absolutely brutal. I have fought these feelings since I was 11yrs old… and 31 years later I am still trying to figure it out… trying to tame this beast.
It can be done… I will do it… WATCH ME.