Bipolar Disorder For Dummies is a reassuring guide to help those with bipolar disorder and their loved ones understand and manage the illness more effectively.

Numerous mood-management tools

  • Depression and mania screening questionnaires
  • Warning signs checklist for childhood bipolar
  • Guide for choosing effective medications with your doctor
  • Tips for beating the blues and muffling the mania
  • Guidance on identifying your stressors and triggers
  • Daily activities chart to help establish a healthy routine
  • Professional insight into which alternative therapies work and which don’t
  • Mood chart to help identify signs of an impending mood episode
  • Sleep log to help you relate sleeping patterns to moods and energy levels
  • Treatment contract so loved ones know when and how to help

You discover…

  • The differences between Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymic Disorder, Rapid Cycling Bipolar, and Bipolar NOS.
  • The genetic roots of bipolar disorder and how family history may affect the odds of developing it or another psychiatric illness.
  • Stressors commonly associated with the onset of symptoms and that may worsen the condition.
  • How to build a winning mood-management team complete with a qualified doctor and therapist.
  • Medications, therapies, lifestyle changes, and self-help techniques to get your life back to normal.
  • How to help a loved one with bipolar while maintaining your own mental health.
  • How to plan ahead for a crisis to expedite and improve the outcome.
  • What to do if hospitalization is necessary.
  • How to tell when your child needs help and steps to take to ensure your child receives the best diagnosis and treatment.

Three “Part of Tens” chapters

  • Ten Questions to Ask a Psychiatrist or Therapist
  • Ten Ways to Fight the High Cost of Treatment
  • Ten Ways to Help the Bipolar Community

Where to order

Barnes & Noble

A message from the authors

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 BP and their friends and family members. One of the most challenging aspects of BP is that although only one person might carry the diagnosis, friends and family members are all affected by BP in some way and all play an important role in reducing stress and assisting the person who has BP 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 BP 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 BP 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, social rhythm therapy, and relationship and family therapy. We also discuss alternative therapies, some of which are complete bunk and others of which some people with BP have found helpful. By presenting the available tools and helping readers steer clear of useless or counterproductive alternatives, we hope to enable those with BP 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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