Bipolar Disorder For Dummies

Fink, Candida; Kraynak, Joe

Published by For Dummies, 2005
ISBN 10: 0764584510 / ISBN 13: 9780764584510
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Bipolar Disorder affects many more people than just the 2.5 million Americans who suffer from the disease. Like depression and other serious illnesses, bipolar disorder also affects spouses, partners, family members, friends and coworkers. And, according to the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation, 15% of children diagnosed with ADHD may actually be suffering from early-onset of Bipolar Disorder.


Bipolar Disorder For Dummies reveals some of the causes and consequences of bipolar disorder, let you in on some crisis survival strategies, and describe ways that friends and family members can support loved ones who have the disease. The book includes an overview of the causes and symptoms of bipolar disorder, explains step-by-step how to obtain an accurate diagnosis, discusses the medications available, and tells what you can and can't do to help someone with the disease. You'll learn:

  • The different categories and potential causes of bipolar disorder
  • How to select the right mental health specialist
  • Managing employment-related issues brought on because of the disorder
  • How bipolar disorder affects children
  • Advocating for yourself or a loved one
  • Planning ahead for manic and depressive episodes
  • Selecting the best medications for you--including alternative "natural" treatments
  • How to survive an immediate crisis situation
  • Identifying triggers and mapping your moods
Complete with fill-in-the-blanks forms and charts, key web site and email addresses, and first-hand accounts from real people, Bipolar Disorder For Dummies gives you the latest information and self-help strategies you and your loved ones need to help everyone affected feel a whole lot better.

From the Author: When we sat down to discuss our approach for Bipolar Disorder For Dummies, we considered the audience for the book and decided to address both those who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and their friends and family members. One of the most challenging aspects of bipolar disorder is that although only one person might carry the diagnosis, friends and family members are all affected by bipolar disorder in some way and all play an important role in reducing stress and assisting the person who has bipolar disorder obtain and maintain treatment. 

Both of us (Candida in her practice and Joe in his family) noticed that family members, simply by being uninformed, can unwittingly increase the stress that often triggers a mood episode. The family member who has bipolar disorder is more sensitive to stressors and is the one who eventually "takes the hit" for any dysfunction in the family, and then that person gets tagged as "the problem," which, to say it nicely, sure doesn't help a whole lot. We wanted to ensure that friends and family members are well aware of their roles and responsibilities. By becoming better informed, through our book and other sources of accurate information, family and friends can learn more effective techniques for communicating with one another and building a more effective support network. 

To develop a clearer understanding of what bipolar disorder feels like from the eyes of someone who's living with it, we strongly recommend An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison. Our book is more of a comprehensive how-to manual that discusses the diagnosis and the most effective treatment options currently available. We believe that medication alone is very helpful but often not completely effective, for whatever reason, and we recommend several therapies in addition to medication, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), social rhythm therapy, mindfulness training, and relationship and family therapy. We also discuss alternative therapies, some of which are complete bunk and others of which some people with bipolar disorder have found helpful. By presenting the available tools and helping readers steer clear of ineffective or counterproductive alternatives, we hope to enable those with bipolar disorder and their families, with the guidance of their qualified doctors and therapists, to structure a treatment plan that works most effectively for all involved.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Bipolar Disorder For Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Publication Date: 2005
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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