Kay Redfield Jamison, on Having Manic Depression

From her book of memoirs, An Unquiet Mind She's a manic-depressive psychiatrist that has done some amazing work on the link between creative genius and madness (see Touched With Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament) *and* she was the first prescription the Good Head Shrink wrote for me when I was discharged from the hospital after the Big One of '00 (literally -- she wrote 'Kay Redfield Jamison' on a prescription pad. She's a *good* shrink, and knew just how to engage me.

Kay Redfield Jamison, On Having Manic Depression

"I have often asked myself whether, given the choice, I would choose to have manic-depressive illness. If lithium were not available to me, or didn't work for me, the answer would be a simple no... and it would be an answer laced with terror. But lithium does work for me, and therefore I can afford to pose the question. Strangely enough, I think I would choose to have it. It's complicated... I honestly believe that as a result of it I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences, more intensely; loved more, and have been more loved; laughed more often for having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the winters... Depressed, I have crawled on my hands and knees in order to get across a room and have done it for month after month. But normal or manic I have run faster, thought faster, and loved faster than most I know."

-- Kay Redfield Jamison