Bipolar Disorder For Dummies 3rd Edition Cover ImageBipolar Disorder For Dummies, 3rd Edition is a reassuring guide that sorts out the differences between bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymic disorder; explains the biology behind the illness; and covers the latest medications, therapies, self-help techniques, and other treatments to ease and eliminate symptoms, function in times of crisis, plan ahead for manic or depressive episodes, and feel a whole lot better.

This new edition includes coverage of the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition) classifications and specifiers for bipolar disorder; updated content on genetics, biochemistry, and imaging studies relevant to bipolar; expanded coverage on how to handle the high costs of treatment; guidance for supporting a loved one (who may not want help); and expert insight into medications and treatment options, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and  deep brain stimulation (DBS); along with new coverage on special populations (differences in diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder in women, seniors, expectant moms, ethnic populations, and other groups).

Bipolar disorder, which has also been called manic-depression, is a brain disorder that causes unusual mood swings and shifting energy levels. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can, if not understood and properly treated, wreak havoc on personal and professional relationships. Though bipolar disorder is a serious condition, it’s one that can be treated! With a firm understanding of what you’re dealing with, you can navigate your way through the challenges of bipolar disorder, whether you or a loved one is diagnosed with this illness.

Numerous mood-management tools

  • Depression and mania screening questionnaires
  • Guidance for distinguishing between childhood bipolar disorder and conditions with similar symptoms
  • 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 healthy routines
  • 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 related conditions.
  • 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.
  • Medications, therapies, lifestyle changes, and self-help techniques to get your life back to normal.
  • Bipolar Bios—personal stories and insights from people who live with bipolar disorder
  • Instructions for building a winning mood-management team complete with a qualified doctor and therapist.
  • Guidance for helping a loved one with bipolar while maintaining your own mental health.
  • Suggestions to plan ahead for a crisis to expedite and improve the outcome.
  • Insight on what to do if hospitalization is necessary.
  • Steps to take to ensure your child receives the best diagnosis and treatment.

Two “Part of Tens” chapters

  • Ten Tips for Managing Bipolar Disorder
  • Ten Ways to Help a Loved One with Bipolar Disorder

Where to order

Order Bipolar Disorder For Dummies, 3rd Edition on

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 bipolar disorder is that although only one person might carry the diagnosis, friends and family members are all affected by it in some way and all play an important role in reducing stress and assisting the person who has bipolar 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.

Bipolar Disorder For Dummies is 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 bipolar disorder have found helpful. By presenting the available tools and helping readers steer clear of useless 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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