Touched With Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperment

Topics: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Emotional Health

“Touched With Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperment:
by Kay Jamison

The anguished and volatile intensity associated with the artistic temperament was once thought to be a symptom of genius or eccentricity peculiar to artists, writers and musicians. Kay Jamison’s work, based on her study as a clinical psychologist and researcher in mood disorders, reveals that many artists subject to exalted highs and despairing lows were in fact engaged in a struggle with clinically identifiable manic-depressive illness. Jamison presents proof of the biological foundations of this disease and applies what is known about the illness to the lives and works of some of the world’s greatest artists including Byron, Van Gogh, Schumann and Woolf.

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