Three Books I Read about Bipolar Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia
An Unquiet Mind, by Kay Redfield Jamison
An Unquiet Mind is a tremendous book that is a multi-pronged examination of both research and medical discussions surrounding Bipolar Affective Disorder. It pairs this with the first-hand experience of Kay Redfield Jamison, who was diagnosed in college. Jamison writes about this disorder partially from the perspective of a psychiatrist and researcher, someone who has dedicated her life to reducing the stigma surrounding the disorder and understanding further in scientific terms. On the other hand, it describes her own catastrophic lows, self-destructive highs, and what it looks like to find a model of stability and support within that. It is both a compelling and informative read that provides a stunning balance of perspectives, allowing a holistic view into the experience of Jamison and Bipolar Affective Disorder.
The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays, by Esme Weijun Wang
The Collected Schizophrenias came out only two months ago, on February 5th, and has quickly become a New York Times Best Seller. It is a series of essays by Esme Weijun Wang, who is openly diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder. It provides insight into what it is like to experience and be discriminated against by the higher education system because of a psychiatric disorder and examines the labels that the psychiatric community uses in terms of diagnosis. It is an intensely honest chronicle and one that is sparking necessary conversations about psychology and psychiatry in the contemporary era.
The Center Can Not Hold: My Journey Through Madness, by Elyn R. Saks
This book is a ground-breaking memoir by Elyn R. Saks, a lawyer, professor, and psychiatrist moving through the world with the diagnosis of Schizophrenia. The book traces her life, from when she was a teenager and began experiencing symptoms for the first time, including auditory hallucinations, all the way through her adulthood. It is a story of learning to live a successful and passionate life with a psychiatric disorder, as well as one of connection, camaraderie and finding ways to persevere.