asfd Essay

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“I have found it to be seductively complicated, a distillation both of what is finest in our nature, and of what is most dangerous” (Jamison, 1995, p.5). In “An Unquiet Mind”, Kay Redfield Jameson takes the readers through her experience dealing with manic-depression. Kay was happy and well rounded during her childhood. She developed interest for poetry, school plays, science, and medicine, and was strongly encouraged by her parents. She was surrounded with good friends, a close-knit family, and great quantities of laughter. Kay’s sister, who was 13 months older, described her as “the fair haired one” in the family, whom friends and schoolwork came too easily.
Due to her father’s involvement in the Air Force as an officer, Kay attended elementary school near the Andrews Air Force Base, outside Washington. Tradition and high expectations came along with being part of a “military family”. “Expectations were clear, and excuses were few; it was a society that genuinely believed in fair play, honor, physical courage, and willingness to die for one’s country”(Jamison, 1995, p.28). Kay felt an elevated level of security while living within the walled-off military world. However, this was shaken due to the emotional distress that resulted from witnessing a traumatic plane crash during Kay’s second year of elementary school. In the middle of recess, along with the rest of her second-grade class, Kay stood paralyzed from fear as a plane fell from the sky, just missing the playground and exploding right in front of the children’s eyes. During the days following the crash, it became known that the pilot had sacrificed his life in order to steer the plane as far away from the playground as possible. If he had not done so, he would have risked the unaccompanied plane taking the lives of the school children. This moment frequently haunted Kay; she was unable to look at the sky without being reminded of death. Throughout her memoir, she hints at how this event may have been a slight push into the seemingly bottomless pit of manic depression. The process of examining and treating physical and mental illness differ. When treating a physical illness, the cause is typically identifiable and standard procedure requires evaluating the origin, level of severity, and treatment options. However, mental illnesses can be complex and are commonly accompanied by amalgamated origins, and unclear triggers that take time to uncover and treat. This makes the process challenging when attempting to implement treatment.
In reading “An Unquiet Mind”, the triggers that may have affected Kay Redfield Jameson’s mental stability during her later years, are recognizable. In addition to the plane crash that Kay witnessed as a child, another stressor for her was being exposed to various unfamiliar people and environments within a short period of time. When fifth grade came around, Kay and her older siblings, had been enrolled in four different elementary schools and moved to a variety of...

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