Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

Best-selling author and psychiatry professor, Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison discussed mental health issues in the college student population, as well as her own struggles with bipolar disorder.

Mental health specialist

Kay Redfield Jamison is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center. She is also Honorary Professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Her best-sellling books include Touched with Fire, An Unquiet Mind, Night Falls Fast, and Exuberance, and Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression. She also is the co-author of the standard medical text on manic-depressive illness, which was chosen in 1990 as the "Most Outstanding Book in Biomedical Sciences" by the American Association of Publishers.

An Unquiet Mind, her memoir about her experiences with manic-depressive illness, was cited by several major publications as one of the best books of 1995. It was on The New York Times bestsellers list for more than five months and has been translated into 20 languages. Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide also was a national bestseller, translated into 15 languages, and selected by The New York Times as a Notable Book of 1999. Jamison's book, Exuberance: The Passion for Life, was selected by The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, and The San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best books of 2004 and by Discover magazine as one of the best science books of the year.

Her newest memoir, Nothing Was the Same, is a haunting meditation on mortality, grief, and loss as Jamison looks back at her relationship with her husband, Richard, who passed away from cancer. Written from deep inside the experience itself, the book will be released fall 2009.

Dr. Jamison did her undergraduate and doctoral studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was a National Science Foundation Research Fellow, University of California Cook Scholar, John F. Kennedy Scholar, United States Public Health Service Pre-doctoral Research Fellow, and UCLA Graduate Woman of the Year. She also studied zoology and neurophysiology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Formerly the director of the UCLA Affective Disorders Clinic, Dr. Jamison was selected as UCLA Woman of Science and has been cited as one of the "Best Doctors in the United States." She is recipient of the American Suicide Foundation Research Award, the UCLA Distinguished Alumnus Award, the UCLA Award for Creative Excellence, the Siena Medal, the Endowment Award from the Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School, the Fawcett Humanitarian Award from the National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association, the Steven V. Logan Award for Research into Brain Disorders from the National Mental Health Association, the Falcone Prize for Research in Affective Illness from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, and the Yale University McGovern Award for excellence in medical communication.

Dr. Jamison has been awarded numerous honorary degrees, selected as one of the five individuals for the public television series "Great Minds of Medicine," and chosen by TIME magazine as a "Hero of Medicine." She was Distinguished Lecturer at Harvard University in 2002 and the Litchfield Lecturer at the University of Oxford in 2003. She also was selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 2001.

Dr. Jamison was a member of the first National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research. She is Senior Scientific Consultant to the Dana Foundation and Chair of the Genome Action Coalition, an alliance of more than 140 patient groups, pharmaceutical corporations, and biotechnology companies. She also serves on the National Committee for Basic Sciences at UCLA and is the executive producer and writer for a series of award-winning public television specials about manic-depressive illness and the arts.

Event Information

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and MadnessDepression and Bipolar Disorders in College Students
  • January 24, 2012
  • 12:30 p.m.

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