“The Chinese believe that before you can conquer a beast
you first must make it beautiful.
In some strange way, I have tried to do that with manic-depressive illness.
It has been a fascinating, albeit deadly, enemy and companion;
I have found it to be seductively complicated,
a distillation both of what is finest in our natures,
and of what is most dangerous.
In order to contend with it, I first had to know all of its moods and infinite disguises,
understand its real and imaginary powers.
Because my illness at first seemed to be
simply an extension of myself-
that is to say,
of my ordinary changeable moods, energies, and enthusiasms-
I perhaps gave it at times too much quarter.
And, because I thought I ought to be able to handle my increasingly violent mood swings by myself,
for the first ten years I did not seek any kind of treatment.
Even after my condition became a medical emergency,
I still intermittently resisted the medications
that both my training and clinical research expertise told me
were the only sensible way to deal with the illness I had.”
-Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind