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The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know

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Thanks to sharper diagnosis and better medicine, the future is brighter for people with bipolar disorder than in past generations. But if you or someone you love is struggling with the frantic highs and crushing lows of this illness, there are still many hurdles to surmount at home, at work, and in daily life. *How can you learn to distinguish between the early warning sign Thanks to sharper diagnosis and better medicine, the future is brighter for people with bipolar disorder than in past generations. But if you or someone you love is struggling with the frantic highs and crushing lows of this illness, there are still many hurdles to surmount at home, at work, and in daily life. *How can you learn to distinguish between the early warning signs of mood swings and the normal ups and downs of life? *What medications are available, and what are their side effects? *What should you do when you find yourself escalating into mania or descending into depression? *How can you get the help and support you need from family members and friends? *How can you tell your coworkers about your illness without endangering your career? In this comprehensive guide, Dr. David J. Miklowitz offers straight talk that can help you tackle these and related questions, take charge of your illness, and reclaim your life. A leading researcher and clinical specialist who knows what works, Dr. Miklowitz supplies proven tools to help you achieve balance--and free yourself from the emotional and financial havoc that result when symptoms rule your life--without sacrificing your right to rich and varied emotional experiences. This essential resource will help you and your family members come to terms with the diagnosis, recognize early warning signs of manic or depressive episodes, cope with triggers of mood swings, resolve medication problems, and learn to collaborate effectively with doctors and therapists. You'll learn specific ways to ask for support and help from your family and friends--and what to do when their "caring" feels like "controlling." For times when the going gets tough, a wealth of examples of how others have dealt with similar challenges offer new perspectives and new solutions. Whether you have recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, are considering seeking help for the first time, or have been in treatment for years, this empowering book is designed to help put you--not your illness--back in charge of your life.


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Thanks to sharper diagnosis and better medicine, the future is brighter for people with bipolar disorder than in past generations. But if you or someone you love is struggling with the frantic highs and crushing lows of this illness, there are still many hurdles to surmount at home, at work, and in daily life. *How can you learn to distinguish between the early warning sign Thanks to sharper diagnosis and better medicine, the future is brighter for people with bipolar disorder than in past generations. But if you or someone you love is struggling with the frantic highs and crushing lows of this illness, there are still many hurdles to surmount at home, at work, and in daily life. *How can you learn to distinguish between the early warning signs of mood swings and the normal ups and downs of life? *What medications are available, and what are their side effects? *What should you do when you find yourself escalating into mania or descending into depression? *How can you get the help and support you need from family members and friends? *How can you tell your coworkers about your illness without endangering your career? In this comprehensive guide, Dr. David J. Miklowitz offers straight talk that can help you tackle these and related questions, take charge of your illness, and reclaim your life. A leading researcher and clinical specialist who knows what works, Dr. Miklowitz supplies proven tools to help you achieve balance--and free yourself from the emotional and financial havoc that result when symptoms rule your life--without sacrificing your right to rich and varied emotional experiences. This essential resource will help you and your family members come to terms with the diagnosis, recognize early warning signs of manic or depressive episodes, cope with triggers of mood swings, resolve medication problems, and learn to collaborate effectively with doctors and therapists. You'll learn specific ways to ask for support and help from your family and friends--and what to do when their "caring" feels like "controlling." For times when the going gets tough, a wealth of examples of how others have dealt with similar challenges offer new perspectives and new solutions. Whether you have recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, are considering seeking help for the first time, or have been in treatment for years, this empowering book is designed to help put you--not your illness--back in charge of your life.

30 review for The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    This book was a major disappointment. I was led to believe that this book would be different, that it would take a different & fresh view of this problem that seems to plague so many. In the end this book simply repeats what everyone else says about any kind of “mental illness” –take your meds, they are good for you, and you are not marked or stigmatized for life though in a sense you really are. On page 75 the author says, “You have an underlying biochemical disturbances w/which you may have bee This book was a major disappointment. I was led to believe that this book would be different, that it would take a different & fresh view of this problem that seems to plague so many. In the end this book simply repeats what everyone else says about any kind of “mental illness” –take your meds, they are good for you, and you are not marked or stigmatized for life though in a sense you really are. On page 75 the author says, “You have an underlying biochemical disturbances w/which you may have been born. These disturbances can include your brain’s over- or underproduction of neurotransmitters…” However he never gets around to proving it. I ask; how are these chemical levels detected or measured? What tests reveal over- or underproduction? These questions remain unanswered until page 88 where he says; “Despite promising research, THERE IS NO DEFINITIVE BIOLOGICAL OR GENETIC TEST FOR CHEMICL IMBALANCES IN BIPOLAR DISORDER. What you get is “we think that in bipolar disorder, certain chemicals…” & “we strongly suspect that people w/bipolar disorder have disturbances…” & “We believe that some of these neurotransmitters…” The author uses the blood pressure analogy, however we KNOW people have hyper-tension because we can scientifically measure their blood pressure, doctor’s don’t say well we think you have high blood pressure (because if they did we would say then measure it!) they know you do. To diagnose someone as bipolar is to do so based on how they answer a few questions. Then when the writer gets to managing the disorder he basically offers what has been prescribed in the Bible for hundreds of years. In the end he simply shows that the difficulties that people are having are the normal ups & downs of life & they have not managed well or reacted well to. Then he throws in some scientific sounding words to describe one’s reactions and you now have a disease which will require mood altering drugs for the rest of your life. There is no real hope offered to anyone here; especially for those who have been labeled ‘Bipolar’.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zakirah

    I've read it halfway and found it really helpful. The first few chapters talk about patients' stories and gave a heartwarming and hopeful introduction to those who were just diagnosed with bipolar. In my country, there's a lot of social stigma attached on mental/mood disorders and reading this book makes me feel less lonely and hopeful. It also provides guidelines/suggestions on how to identify a manic/hypomanic or depressive episode. I recommend this book to fellow bipolar patients who want to I've read it halfway and found it really helpful. The first few chapters talk about patients' stories and gave a heartwarming and hopeful introduction to those who were just diagnosed with bipolar. In my country, there's a lot of social stigma attached on mental/mood disorders and reading this book makes me feel less lonely and hopeful. It also provides guidelines/suggestions on how to identify a manic/hypomanic or depressive episode. I recommend this book to fellow bipolar patients who want to manage and take control over this illness.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    My rating isn't for the book as a whole, but for the audiobook. I think the book itself is worth 4 stars. It was helpful, interesting, talked about many things that can help family members, the patient, and the practitioner. It's definitely one of those books that I would recommend to someone struggling with bipolar disorder or struggling with a friend/family member/coworker who has it. If only it was updated to the DSM-5, but oh well. Now, the audiobook was good. However, they just assumed that My rating isn't for the book as a whole, but for the audiobook. I think the book itself is worth 4 stars. It was helpful, interesting, talked about many things that can help family members, the patient, and the practitioner. It's definitely one of those books that I would recommend to someone struggling with bipolar disorder or struggling with a friend/family member/coworker who has it. If only it was updated to the DSM-5, but oh well. Now, the audiobook was good. However, they just assumed that you would also have the book or PDF in front of you. They talked about figures to look at in the PDF without really explaining them. Other books I've listened to typically explain the figure somehow. They talked about exercises and went through them, just assuming that you would be able to write things down. Knowing most people, they listen to books while walking, driving, shopping, working, etc. Not good times to just sit down and start filling in exercises on this non-existent copy. However, all of those things are very helpful and that's the reason why I'd like to own a hardcopy for whatever future office my mom insists that I'm going to have.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sexy

    I would have to say this book provides quite a plethora of not only useful, but practical information as well as guidance on how to go about organizing one's life. I must say, I think the author isn't so bad himself. I would recommend this book to anyone with bipolar disorder that wants a way to incorporate a few tips and tricks with how to deal with their particular situation in life. In fact I'd say I highly recommend this book, for the tips and tricks, though. I don't agree with a lot of view po I would have to say this book provides quite a plethora of not only useful, but practical information as well as guidance on how to go about organizing one's life. I must say, I think the author isn't so bad himself. I would recommend this book to anyone with bipolar disorder that wants a way to incorporate a few tips and tricks with how to deal with their particular situation in life. In fact I'd say I highly recommend this book, for the tips and tricks, though. I don't agree with a lot of view points of psychiatry as it stands today. And after reconsideration, I'll keep those opinions to my self. If you have access to a copy machine, give this book a read, and make some copies of the more detailed pages. Take what is useful and discard the rest.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rebo

    4.5 stars rounded up. This is an excellent, comprehensive book that covers all the basics related to bipolar disorder. It's especially helpful for those who have been recently diagnosed, and includes a lot of exercises and worksheets to help you and your family manage the disorder more effectively. I found the chapters on medications, how to detect the early warning signs of a manic or depressive episode, and the special considerations that women with bipolar disorder must deal with particularly i 4.5 stars rounded up. This is an excellent, comprehensive book that covers all the basics related to bipolar disorder. It's especially helpful for those who have been recently diagnosed, and includes a lot of exercises and worksheets to help you and your family manage the disorder more effectively. I found the chapters on medications, how to detect the early warning signs of a manic or depressive episode, and the special considerations that women with bipolar disorder must deal with particularly interesting. A good reference and one I'd definitely recommend, whether you've recently been diagnosed or a friend or family member has.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is an excellent resource for anyone with bipolar disorder. It is straightforward with the facts, but delivers them with gentleness and compasssion. I highly recommend it to consumers, families, friends, and people just curious about how mental illness manifests itself.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bridgett

    I found this book very thorough and it helped me understand the more "negative" emotions that can occur during mania. I found this book very thorough and it helped me understand the more "negative" emotions that can occur during mania.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    was very helpful...........

  9. 5 out of 5

    Raghad Mansoor

    The audiobook was long but it actually was really helpful. There were a lot of tips and ways to cope with each side of being bipolar. Started from the day you’re diagnosed, the ups and downs from being manic to deeply depressed and it went on deep detail about suicidal thoughts. I think having the hard copy version can be more useful as you would be able to actually re-read the tips and use them, but it was helpful as well to get a set of ideas that you can create something out of them that work The audiobook was long but it actually was really helpful. There were a lot of tips and ways to cope with each side of being bipolar. Started from the day you’re diagnosed, the ups and downs from being manic to deeply depressed and it went on deep detail about suicidal thoughts. I think having the hard copy version can be more useful as you would be able to actually re-read the tips and use them, but it was helpful as well to get a set of ideas that you can create something out of them that works for you. It talked too in great detail about how to deal with family and friends while you're having trouble(from the patient point of view), but honestly wasn’t much of a guide for family members or friends as it says in the title. Also there's one thing that bothered me a lot. When he started talking about how to evaluate your mood and symptoms he referred a lot to ”normal” by saying less than normal more than normal without any further explanation as to what is exactly ”normal”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Morton

    A lot of information. Good for anybody starting off e.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nela

    This book is exactly what the title says, nothing more, nothing less. A good guide, in my view. Patient centered and there are not many out there with easy to follow language

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    This was a very handy all-in-one-place run down on what bipolar disorder is, what makes someone susceptible to developing the disorder, how it's diagnosed, and how it's treated. The section one medications was really well-written and a lot more clear than much of the information I have been able to find online; I'm not sure if there was any influence from drug companies involved, but it felt like a very neutral, well-written article and I wouldn't hesitate to point a friend exploring their medic This was a very handy all-in-one-place run down on what bipolar disorder is, what makes someone susceptible to developing the disorder, how it's diagnosed, and how it's treated. The section one medications was really well-written and a lot more clear than much of the information I have been able to find online; I'm not sure if there was any influence from drug companies involved, but it felt like a very neutral, well-written article and I wouldn't hesitate to point a friend exploring their medication options toward this section of the book. There were also a lot of helpful charts and exercises for tracking moods and decreasing the chances of spiraling into a depression or mania laid out in this book as well; I haven't utilized any of these, so I can't speak to their efficacy, but they seem like something I would definitely revisit in the future. Overall this book is packed with information that's extremely valuable to both people with Bipolar disorder and those who love them.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lilly Ann Wolvesley

    Miklowitz is a professor and directs the Integrative Study Center in Mood Disorders and the Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Program at UCLA’s Semel Institute. The book is a practical, easy to follow guide from diagnosis to striving for wellness while living with Bipolar Disorder. When I was first diagnosed, I was a bit…uncomfortable with the diagnosis. I ordered the Nook book, so no one else knew what I was reading. Miklowitz also offers a book regarding Family-Focused Treatment (FFT). I kno Miklowitz is a professor and directs the Integrative Study Center in Mood Disorders and the Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Program at UCLA’s Semel Institute. The book is a practical, easy to follow guide from diagnosis to striving for wellness while living with Bipolar Disorder. When I was first diagnosed, I was a bit…uncomfortable with the diagnosis. I ordered the Nook book, so no one else knew what I was reading. Miklowitz also offers a book regarding Family-Focused Treatment (FFT). I know little about FFT, but it involves the family and has proven very successful for a number of those with Bipolar Disorder.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Benson

    Great resource and must for recently diagnosed Relatively short but in depth, it still took me 5 months to get through this from time of diagnosis until now. Partially periods of time willfully not wanting to deal with it, just busy, and trying to absorb it as thoroughly as possible. Outside of your family, psychologist and psychiatrist this is the place to start. Great personal examples. Great medical insight. Helpful for relationships, workplace, daily routine, coping strategies. I wish I could Great resource and must for recently diagnosed Relatively short but in depth, it still took me 5 months to get through this from time of diagnosis until now. Partially periods of time willfully not wanting to deal with it, just busy, and trying to absorb it as thoroughly as possible. Outside of your family, psychologist and psychiatrist this is the place to start. Great personal examples. Great medical insight. Helpful for relationships, workplace, daily routine, coping strategies. I wish I could find printable worksheets from the book online.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Gage

    A lot more scientific than the other books that I've read, the bulk of this book discusses Bipolar Disorder from a doctor's perspective, including possible treatments, medications, etc. and all the studies related to them. The actual chapters on dealing with Bipolar Disorder on a day-to-day basis are short and vague. This is a great book for people trying to understand the disorder, but not too helpful for someone trying to battle it daily. A lot more scientific than the other books that I've read, the bulk of this book discusses Bipolar Disorder from a doctor's perspective, including possible treatments, medications, etc. and all the studies related to them. The actual chapters on dealing with Bipolar Disorder on a day-to-day basis are short and vague. This is a great book for people trying to understand the disorder, but not too helpful for someone trying to battle it daily.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christine Fay

    This is an important book for anyone with BPD or with a family member who has BPD to read. There are a lot of helpful strategies for dealing with the challenges that come from living with someone who suffers from the mood swings of bipolar disorder. There is a mood chart, a depression chart, and other valuable tools to help one manage their disease and maximize their lives. There is also emphasis placed on family involvement as being key to self-management as well.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I read this book not as a person with bipolar disorder, nor a family member, but as a physician who deals with recommending treatment for this illness. This book seemed a bit repetitive and simple, but it is an easily-digested way for folks affected by this disease to understand what's happening and prepare for the future. Recommended. I read this book not as a person with bipolar disorder, nor a family member, but as a physician who deals with recommending treatment for this illness. This book seemed a bit repetitive and simple, but it is an easily-digested way for folks affected by this disease to understand what's happening and prepare for the future. Recommended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luisa

    This book is so helpful. It goes a long way to understanding, accepting, and dealing with bipolar disorder. It should be the first stop for anyone dealing with this diagnosis for him/herself or his/her loved one's This book is so helpful. It goes a long way to understanding, accepting, and dealing with bipolar disorder. It should be the first stop for anyone dealing with this diagnosis for him/herself or his/her loved one's

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eilene

    Excellent chapter on suicide & making a suicide prevention plan. And the whole book is more of a "here's what to do about it" instead of just lots of information thrown at you. I read the entire book, cover to cover, while in the psych hospital for a week. There's not much to do there... Excellent chapter on suicide & making a suicide prevention plan. And the whole book is more of a "here's what to do about it" instead of just lots of information thrown at you. I read the entire book, cover to cover, while in the psych hospital for a week. There's not much to do there...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Keshia

    The first half of the book was informative in detail, but not useful for me as a friend to a bipolar person. The second half seemed better, but this book is really for the person who has it. (got to page 204 out of 322)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ian Reynir

    I was impressed ith Miklowitz's journal articles, but his dumbing down of the truth is not good for high-functioning bipolars. The average bipolar may find this to be useful, but for deeper understanding and more advanced treatments that really work better, I can't suggest this book. I was impressed ith Miklowitz's journal articles, but his dumbing down of the truth is not good for high-functioning bipolars. The average bipolar may find this to be useful, but for deeper understanding and more advanced treatments that really work better, I can't suggest this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    AJ LeBlanc

    This has been very helpful for figuring out what's going on in my brain. This has been very helpful for figuring out what's going on in my brain.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steve Garvin

    Although this reads more like a textbook, there is some good information in it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Libby King

    Not quite as advertised. Mostly helpful for people who are Bi-Polar. Not a lot of help for their families! A few good ideas though.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paloma Etienne

    Very clear and helpful. It helps you get it together and take it from there

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    A practical and comprehensive survival guide for those affected by bipolar disorder.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    This book really helped me understand the disease and provided the much needed prospective to relate to those who have it. I feel more empowered having read this book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Peter Damien

    A very useful, informative overview sort of book. Looks and seems a bit like a textbook at first, but it's actually very readable. A very useful, informative overview sort of book. Looks and seems a bit like a textbook at first, but it's actually very readable.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Really good and informative, but dry in parts. This is more like a reference type deal, not a straight though read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Good overview of beginning to cope with bipolar disorder. Practical advice, and a series of useful worksheets.

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