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Kay Redfield Jamison's Bipolar Disorder

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Question #2: Bipolar Disorder: Give a phenomenological/subjective (first person account) description of Kay Redfield Jamison’s bipolar disorder as described in her book “Unquiet Mind.” In particular, what factors did she view as helpful in her recovery? Bipolar Disorder is mental illness that includes severe high and low moods with changes in sleep, energy, thinking and behavior. Bipolar disorder is correlated with increased risk for substance-related disorders, weight problems, and impaired social support systems. Approximately one in every hundred people develop bipolar disorder. Kay Redfield Jamison reports that her manic depressive illness was a gradual progression wherein she found her mind and life accelerated. In the summer of July …show more content…

The hallucination finally led her to reach out to a colleague she had been dating. In response he approached her in a skillful, graceful, and understanding way regarding her necessity to take lithium and prescribed her the drug on an emergency basis until she saw a psychiatrist. He tested her blood for lithium levels and encouraged her to take it on a consistent basis. Her colleague also educated her family about her illness, arranged for her care, and recommended she take time off from work. Kay’s brother assisted her in sorting out her financial situation and paying her debt. He remained positive and significantly available to her, flying out to see her or arranging her flights out to him, while remaining non-judgmental. Her psychiatrist ended up being the chief resident at UCLA Neuropsychiatry Institute who was once her supervisor. He approached her treatment with discipline, determination and dedication. He was adamant about the importance of aggressive medical treatments using lithium, thorazine, valium, and barbiturates for psychotic patients; he also had a genuine belief in the importance of psychotherapy and its healing. A combination of medication, good social support and access to high quality therapeutic services along with Kay’s commitment to recovery all led to her

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