* Kay Jamison remembers a time at school when she saw a military jet crash into a row of trees. The experience becomes a metaphor for her experience with manic depression.
* Jamison recalls that there were indicators that the illness ran in the family. For example her father suffered from severe mood swings.
* Within her family, Jamison finds stability in her older brother and her mother.
* In general Jamison describes her childhood as very happy. Her parents were supportive of her intellectual pursuits and she enjoyed many friendships.
* At 15, Jamison visits a psychiatric hospital. She feels a strong urge to reach out to the patients and identifies with their suffering.
* Jamison finds it difficult to adapt to high school, but soon makes friends and finds a boyfriend. Both welcome distractions to her increasingly turbulent home life.
* Jamison's first manic episode starts at 17. It...
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