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Living With Someone Who's Living With Bipolar Disorder: A Practical Guide for Family, Friends, and Coworkers

ISBN: 978-0-470-47566-9
272 pages
January 2010, Jossey-Bass
Living With Someone Who

An essential resource for anyone who has a close relationship with a person who is bipolar

This book provides a much-needed resource for family and friends of the more than 5 million American adults suffering from bipolar disorder. From psychotic behavior that requires medication to milder mood swings with disturbing ups and down, this book offers a warm and often humorous user-friend guide for coping with bipolar loved ones, colleagues, and friends. The book includes

  • Guidance for identifying bipolar disorder symptoms and how to get the diagnosis confirmed
  • Strategies for dealing with rants, attacks, blame, depression, mania and other behaviors
  • Crucial information on medication and its effectiveness and potential side-effects
  • Techniques for dealing with attempts to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol
  • How many people with bipolar disorders can care for themselves, get help, feel supported and go on with their own lives

This important book contains real-life illustrative examples and a wealth of helpful strategies and coping mechanisms that can be put into action immediately.

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Preface.

Introduction.

Part One Understanding Bipolar Disorder.

1 What Is (and Isn’t) Bipolar Disorder?

2 A Brief, Colorful History (and Some Science) of Bipolar Disorder.

3 Getting an Accurate Diagnosis.

4 Understanding Medication.

5 Understanding Psychosocial Therapies and Medical Treatment Options.

Part Two Living with Your Partner.

6 Building a Support Team.

7 Bipolar Disorders and the Workplace.

8 Communication and Coping Skills.

9 Coping with Negative and Dangerous Behaviors.

10 Sex, Intimacy, and Relationship Issues.

11 Suicide Attempts, Hospitalization, and Commitment.

12 Family Matters.

Appendix: Excerpts from the DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic Criteria for Bipolar Disorder.

Notes.

Resources.

About the Authors.

Index.

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Chelsea Lowe is a health writer and essayist and the author of The Everything Health Guide to OCD. She has written feature articles and essays for NPR, Newsweek, Newsday, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and other publications.

Bruce M. Cohen, MD, PhD, is emeritus director of the Harvard University– affiliated McLean Hospital and the Robertson-Steele Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Cohen is a national leader in the study and treatment of bipolar disorders.

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Mental health columnist Lowe and Cohen (psychiatry, Harvard Univ.) team up to address the needs and concerns of those who are involved with someone who has bipolar disorder. They use nontechnical language to describe all aspects of diagnosis, treatment options, and day-to-day issues. Numerous vignettes of couples, told from the nonbipolar partner's point of view, personalize the narrative and also make clear how varied the symptoms, whether behavioral or emotional, can be. Specific advice is offered on communicating with family, friends, and work colleagues; developing a professional and nonprofessional support system; and navigating the impact of this disease on work and personal life. There is also an extensive reading list appended, and resources appropriate to the topic at hand are integrated into the text.
Verdict: This offers practical help to those living with or related to a person who is or might be suffering from bipolar disorder. A guide on the nitty-gritty details of managing a relationship and a life, with a hefty dose of encouragement thrown in, this has lots of excellent resources for all aspects of diagnosis, treatment, communication, and coping.—Paula McMillen, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas (Library Journal, January 29, 2010)
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January 20, 2010
LIVING WITH SOMEONE WHO'S LIVING WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER: A Practical Guide for Family, Friends, and Coworkers

Over 5 million American adults suffer from bipolar disorder. Millions more husbands, wives, partners, parents, children, family, friends, and coworkers suffer with them as they experience extreme mood swings from hyperactive mania to sadness and intractable depression.

 

LIVING WITH SOMEONE WHO’S LIVING WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER: A Practical Guide for Family, Friends, and Coworkers (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley imprint; February 2010; $18.95; Paperback; ISBN: 978-0-470-47566-9) by Chelsea Lowe and Bruce M. Cohen, MD, PhD provides a much-needed resource for people seeking to understand and care for those with the disorder. Pairing cutting edge brain research with hopeful family case histories, this book includes:

- guidance for identifying bipolar disorder symptoms and confirming the diagnosis
- strategies for dealing with rants, attacks, blame, depression, mania and other behaviors
- crucial information on medication and its effectiveness and potential side-effects
- techniques for dealing with attempts to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol
- tips for how those with bipolar disorder can care for themselves, feel supported and live their own lives

LIVING WITH SOMEONE WHO’S LIVING WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER contains real-life illustrative examples and a wealth of helpful strategies and coping mechanisms that can be put into action immediately. From psychotic behavior that requires medication to milder mood swings with disturbing ups and down, this book stands apart from more narrow, technical resources by offering a warm and often humorous user-friend guide for coping with bipolar loved ones, colleagues, and friends.

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