We recently updated our book, Bipolar Disorder For Dummies, to create a second edition and took the opportunity to make some significant changes. The first few chapters will be familiar to anyone who has read the first edition, although we revised those chapters, as well, to bring them up to date.
In developing the new edition, we tried to focus chapters on specific issues that people with bipolar disorder and their loved ones often have to deal with, such as a reluctance to take medications, and specific skill sets that anyone who is living with bipolar disorder can benefit from, such as communication and problem-solving.
Some of the more significant changes include the following:
- Expanded coverage of medications in Chapter 7, “Touring the Bipolar Pharmacy.”
- A new chapter on “Coming to Terms with Medications and Their Side Effects.”
- A new chapter on Treating Bipolar Disorder in Women and Other Specific Populations,” including older adults. This chapter also addresses cultural differences that may affect diagnosis and treatment.
- A new chapter on “Making Lifestyle Adjustments,” in which we pulled together content that was distributed among several chapters in the first edition.
- A new chapter on “Communicating Effectively” to help those with bipolar and their loved ones engage in more constructive dialogue.
- A new chapter on “Solving Problems and Resolving Conflict.”
- A new chapter on dealing with a hospitalization, which explains what to expect, your patient rights, how to make your stay more comfortable, and how to transition more effectively from hospitalization to recovery.
- A new chapter on “Getting Back to Work… Or Not,” which includes a discussion of whether to disclose that you have bipolar and how to do so effectively if that’s what you choose to do and a discussion of reasonable workplace accommodations to ask for under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- A new chapter on “Overcoming Financial Setbacks,” which serves as sort of a resource guide for accessing federal, state, and local programs and other assistance.
- Expanded coverage of what to do in crisis situations, where we added a few more situations, including what to do if your loved one with bipolar disorder is arrested and suggestions for avoiding the pitfalls of overspending.
- Many of the sidebars have been replaced with Bipolar Bios from authors who are living with bipolar disorder, including Andy Behrman (a.k.a. Electroboy), Natalie Jeanne Champagne, Linea and Cinda Johnson, Janine Crowley Haynes, Stacy Pershall, Wendy Williamson, Helena Smole, Chato Stewart, and Joe’s wife, Cecie. Matt Durand, one of Dr. Fink’s patients, also contributed his Bipolar Bio.
How did we cram all of this extra stuff into the book? Well, it wasn’t easy. First, we convinced the publishers to let us bump up the page count from 360 to 384. Then, we stripped out as much redundancy as we could find and consolidated coverage to make the book more modular. When we were done, however, we ended up 40 pages over the target! Yikes!
Cecie (Joe’s wife) suggested that we drop a couple chapters, but we didn’t like that idea, so we went back through the chapters and made some surgical deletions. If you cut two pages from 20 chapters, you end up cutting 40 pages, and that’s sort of what we did. In the process, we really tightened up the manuscript.
We hope you’ll like the final product. Please let us know what you think.