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Kay Redfield Jamison
Kay Redfield Jamison
Author, An Unquiet Mind 
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Kay Redfield Jamison
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Author of An Unquiet Mind and Professor of Psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Kay Redfield Jamison is an international authority and researcher on mood disorders. Named a “Hero of Medicine" by TIME, she has unique insight into the world of mental illness.

Dr. Jamison went public with her own struggle with manic depression in a 1995 Washington Post article and subsequent New York Times bestseller, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, which according to Oliver Sacks, “stands alone in the literature of manic depression for its bravery, brilliance, and beauty.” Since its release, she has become a trusted advocate for the millions who suffer from mental illness.

The author of the national bestseller Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide, Jamison co-authored the standard medical textbook on manic depression, Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression and is the author of Exuberance: The Passion for Life.

In 2017, Jamison published Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character, a “psychological account” of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Lowell and his remarkable ability to create amid manic episodes.

Jamison’s book Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament was awarded the Lewis Thomas Prize, which recognizes scientific works that reach a wider audience outside of the laboratory. Inspired by her work, director Paul Dalio dramatized his own battle with manic depression and bipolar disorder in Touched With Fire, a 2016 film starring Katie Holmes.

Dr. Jamison has published over 100 articles in academic journals. She has shared her expertise on various television programs, and was one of five people featured in the PBS series, Great Minds of Medicine.

Audiences describe her lectures as profoundly enlightening experiences. She addresses the clinical and personal realities of depression and bipolar disorder in a manner that encourages dialogue, empathy and hope.

A recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, Dr. Jamison is currently the Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders, a Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the co-director of the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center. She is an honorary professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in the U.K.

Full Bio >
  • Dr. Jamison Speaks on Exuberance
  • Interview with Kay Redfield Jamison
  • Music and the Brain: Depression and Creativity Symposium (2009)
  • Kay Jamison and Touched By Fire director discuss Bipolar Disorder (2016)
  • Personal Reflections on Manic-Depressive Illness (2008)
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Speaking Topics
An Unquiet Mind: Professional and Personal Insights About Living With Depression and Bipolar Illness
Touched with Fire: Mood Disorders, The Arts, and Creativity

A possible link between ‘madness’ and genius is one of the oldest and most persistent of cultural notions; it is also one of the most controversial. The lecture will present evidence for significantly increased rates of depression and bipolar illness in writers and artists, discuss possible reasons for these elevated rates, and open up discussion about potential clinical and ethical concern.

Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, is the Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders and Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She is also Honorary Professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She is the co-author of the standard medical text on bipolar illness and author of Touched With FireAn Unquiet MindNight Falls FastExuberance, and Nothing Was the Same.

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Depression and the Workplace: What Every Employer Needs to Know
The Key to Leadership: Passion

What makes a great leader? Is it a strategic mind or a powerful voice? A diplomatic brain or an eye for detail? According to Kay Redfield Jamison, it’s something more innate. 
Exuberance is the key. The fuel for humanity’s most creative and scientific achievements, exuberance puts people in the mood to act, creating CEOs and community leaders that people want to follow. Using her extensive research, Jamison outlines the profile of a leader, breaking down the brain to its essential parts, and showing how passion may be all you need for effective leadership.  

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Understanding Suicide: Night Falls Fast
Nothing Was The Same: Grief, Loss, and Depression

No one is immune to depression or grief, but understanding the difference between the two can make all the difference. The thin-line between these two mental states is easy to confuse, especially after the loss of a loved one. After all, how does one process such a crushing blow?
After the death of her husband, Kay Redfield Jamison went looking for answers. Through her honesty, candor, wit, and simplicity, Jamison describes his death, her struggle with grief, and how to distinguish that grief from depression. 

Read More >
Robert Lowell: Genius, Mania, and Character
Books & Other Works
  • Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character
  • An Unquiet Mind
  • Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide
  • Exuberance: The Passion for Life
  • Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and The Artistic Temperament
  • Nothing Was the Same
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“Dr. Jamison received a standing ovation.”
Washington University
“Nearly 1000 people attended Dr. Jamison's lecture, which provided such a sincere and intelligent discussion of such a pervasive issue. The audience was clearly engaged and enlightened.”
Rollins College
“What an amazing two days. Dr. Jamison was terrific and the people just loved her. We here in Naples were blessed to have her in our community.”
David Lawrence Center and Foundation
“The program went very well. The audience was very attentive and were very appreciative of Kay. We enjoyed our dinner with Kay after the event ... it was a very successful night.”
Guild of Catholic Women
“Our event was excellent and very well attended. Kay was wonderful and has a very compelling story.”
Simmons College
“The visit of Dr. Jamison has been a big success. It has been astonishing to see that Dr. Jamison plays such an important role in many lives of patients but also psychiatrists. It was good to have her here.”
Eli Lilly Nederland
“Kay was absolutely wonderful -- truly a role model for so many of us. She was very generous with her time and an amazing scholar and presenter.”
Regis University
“She did a marvelous job and the audience hung on every word.”
Mecklenburg Medical Alliance & Endowment
“The St. Stephen's Episcopal School continues to applaud you on the phenomenal keynote address presented to our community. Your insight swirled with personal openness made us all more aware of treatable mental diseases.”
St. Stephen's Episcopal School
“Very well-received. It was especially moving to see how many young people, obviously touched by your lecture, gathered around you at the conclusion.”
Society for Neuroscience
“I was very taken by Kay Redfield Jamison. She fields questions very well, and I am now reading An Unquiet Mind. It's beautifully written and -- I can't put it down.”
Ball State University
“Everything went fantastic with Kay Redfield Jamison. The talk was very well-received... the residency activities were fantastic. It all worked out great for us.”
Agnes Scott College
“Your presentation was extremely well-received.”
Entertainment Industries Council
“Your lecture was fantastic!”
Northwestern University
“Kay's visit was wonderful. Really wonderful. We are sending her a card to express our gratitude for her generosity of spirit during her visit with us. She was truly a delight and I know the audience learned a great deal.”
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