Manic depressive illness, commonly referred to as bipolar disorder is the mental disorder that occurs when a person undergoes mania and depression. Manic phases are described as being hyperactive, such as periods of inability to sleep, delusions of grandeur, and their often highly productive, and sometimes even aggressive. Manic phases are followed by the depressive phases. Like a pendulum swing, the higher the mania, the lower the depression.
Depressive phase are the opposite of mania, more than being sad, it’s a state of being in a numb despair. Despite the challenges of living with a psychiatric disorder Jameson has accomplished great things. For example, even though Jameson has bipolar disorder, she still experienced and understood love. She says “After each seeming death within my mind or heart, love has returned to re-create hope and restore life. ” This shows that she counted on the love of others to get her through severe episodes.
Throughout the book, she explains that when she first wrote this book, she conceived it as a book about moods, and an illness of moods, as she continued to write it however, she said that is turned out to be very much a book about love as well: love as a sustainer, a renewed, and a protector. Jameson also said “Love, like life, is much stranger and far more complicated than one is brought up to believe. This shows that she understood not just how difficult love is but life is as well. Life and love are not black and white.
There are ups and downs, things you don’t understand, things you’re not told, and things you have to figure out yourself. Even though Jameson had a disorder that can disrupt relationships, she still understood that love is something everybody must have to succeed in life. Another example of an accomplishment that Jameson achieved was that despite crushing periods of depression that resulted in a suicide attempt, Jameson became very successful in her professional life. She applied to the Department of Psychiatry for a faculty appointment, and started teaching at John Hopkins within a few months after applying.
John Hopkins is one of the best medical schools in the country. She managed to achieve her PhD in psychiatry and also became a partner in a UCLA psychiatric facility. This shows that she didn’t let her illness get in the way of her dreams. Ever since she was a young girl, she did many research papers on her own, and wanted to be a professor or a doctor of some kind. Jameson is also the author of Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, and co author of the standard medical text on manic-depressive illness.
This demonstrates her passion to want to educate people of the illness. She wanted to prove people that she was important, and that just because somebody has a mental disorder, does not mean that they cannot succeed in life. The last example of Camion’s accomplishments is she was able to get her life under her control with the use of lithium. She said “l reaped a bitter harvest from my own refusal to take lithium on a consistent basis. ” When she first was required to take lithium as a medication, she refused. Her fears were becoming addicted to the drug, and losing her personality and who she was.
High doses of lithium can make people feel like zombies, it can distort thinking, and cause the person to not be able to concentrate. When she first took lithium she felt that she had lost her thoughts, and her thinking, which is what, motivated her dreams. Eventually, after an extremely violent manic episode, she decided to stay on lithium. She said “For someone with my cast of mind and mood, medication is an integral element of this wall: without it, I would be constantly beholden o the crushing movements of a mental sea: I would, unquestionable, be dead or insane. This shows that Jameson accepted her need to take the medication to stay stable. She was okay with that. She realized that taking a medication for an illness that is out of her control is nothing to be ashamed of. A disorder or a medication does not determine a person’s ability to succeed in life, everybody is different, and everybody has their own ways to control themselves. To conclude, Jameson accomplished many things in her life, even though she is living with manic depressive illness.
She was able to experience and understand love and the meaning of love, she became very successful and a well renowned person in her professional life and she got her life under her control by maintaining the mood swings with lithium. After reading this memoir, I learned that you can’t control what is handed to you in life, but you have the ability to do anything, and be anything that you want with determination and hard work. “It is not the cards that one is dealt in life, it is how one plays them, is, by far the highest card was dealt. “