, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 185-205
Date: 16 May 2012

“A Fire in the Blood”: Metaphors of Bipolar Disorder in Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind

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Content analysis of three chapters of Jamison’s memoir, An Unquiet Mind, shows that depression, mania, and Bipolar Disorder have a common metaphoric core as a sequential process of suffering and adversity that is a form of malevolence and destruction. Depression was down and in, while mania was up, in and distant, circular and zigzag, a powerful force of quickness and motion, fieriness, strangeness, seduction, expansive extravagance, and acuity. Bipolar Disorder is down and away and a sequential and cyclical process that partakes of the metaphors of its component moods. We conclude that metaphors of mood disorders share a number of structural features and are consistent across different authors.

An earlier version of the research was presented at the meeting of the Western Psychological Association, April 27–30, 2006, Palm Springs, CA.