And Jamison did desire sanity. She also valued her mania at certain times, her energy and intensity and ecstasy. She did not value the muffling effect that lithium exerted, even though she came to understand that it would save her. Still, later in the book when she was able to reduce the dosage of lithium, she was thrilled to have some of that perceptual and emotional intensity restored to her without the loss of her sanity. Indeed, she indicated that the reduced dose of lithium actually seemed to make her more stable and flexible, rather than so brittle. It restored some of her coping ability ( pp. 161-167).
Still, the earliest response to the medication was to resist it and rail against its necessity. There were powerful pulls toward the mania part of her manic-depression illness, not only because of the advantages she perceived they gave to her, but because of her memories of her father.
Her father was the forerunner, early charming all the family with his enthusiasms and high energy, but later sinking into horrible depressions, filled with not only despair, but with violence (p. 35). His moods seemed not to swing as much as to sink into total despair. Even his manias, as Jamison noted, were too extreme, causing him trouble at work.
Almost immediately after her father's sinking into profound despair, Kay Jamison had her own first attack