Bipolar disorder, formerly termed manic-depressive illness, is a complex disorder usually combining symptoms of depression and mania. Sufferers are often highly intelligent, creative people who may have become accustomed to the emotional storminess of their psyches.
Persons with bipolar disorder may be loathe to give up the exhilaration of the mania side of the disease, though the depressive side may be quite painful, even leading to suicidality. The self-help books and memoirs listed below are recommended resources for persons with bipolar disorders, and their families and friends.
See also: Depression
David Yarian, Ph.D.
More Recommended Self-Help Books on Bipolar Disorder
Following the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, you desire straightforward advice. Bipolar 101 is a clear-cut self-help guidebook to understanding bipolar disorder. It provides necessary information which will help you control your symptoms and live a better life. Authored by both a psychologist and a mental health expert who has bipolar disorder herself, this pocket guide offers ten simple--yet not always easy--essential steps readers need to take to deal with this serious and challenging condition. 2009, New Harbinger
For any caregiver experiencing life with a bipolar child, this self-help book will be an indispensable guide. Drawing upon recent advances in the fields of neuroscience and genetics the authors explain what is known and not known about the illness. They comprehensively explain the diagnosis, tell how to find good treatment and medications, and advise parents about ways to advocate effectively for their children at school. Also included is information about Individual Education Plans for a bipolar child. 2007, Three Rivers Press, 3rd Edition
This self-help book is designed to help readers recognize the early signs of bipolar disorder and to find proper medication and treatment. It is a helpful tool for both patients and families and offers practical information about dealing with mood swings. 2010, Guilford Press, 2nd Edition
This self-help workbook clearly lays out a 4-step plan for dealing with bipolar symptoms: See It Coming, Take Precaution, Reduce Your Symptoms, and Check Your Progess. This excellent book helps people understand that getting the correct diagnosis is an opportunity to make sense of the past and prepare for the future. 2005, Guilford Press
Psychology professor Stuart Sutherland describes his bipolar episodes, his hospitalizations, and his experiences with drug treatments, different kinds of therapy, and yoga. Drawing upon his background as a psychologist, the author discusses the history and rationale of the various treatments he received. 2010, Pinter & Martin Ltd, 3rd Edition
Actress Patty Duke describes the disastrous effects of her untreated bipolar disorder for almost twenty years before she was properly diagnosed and treated. Her subsequent recovery and work in the mental health field adds depth and resonance to this autobiography. 1993, Bantam
In this sequel to A Brilliant Madness Patty Duke tells the story of her tumultuous show business life and her untreated bipolar disorder -- which led to divorces, tantrums, spending sprees and promiscuous behavior. With proper diagnosis and treatment she has become a successful wife, mother and political activist. 1988 Bantam
This best-selling workbook provides interactive exercises that help readers take responsibility for their own wellness. It teaches essential coping skills, such as tracking and controlling moods, building a support system, increasing self-confidence and self-esteem, avoiding conditions that can exacerbate mood swings, and using relaxation, diet and exercise to stabilize moods. Included is a step-by-step process to help readers develop their own plan for managing symptoms and staying well. 2002, New Harbinger
This is a ground-breaking self-help book for couples who want to prevent manic-depressive disorder from hijacking their relationship. Once medication has been prescribed, the key is studying the specific ways your partner is affected. This allows couples to develop proactive strategies for treating and stabilizing mood swings and symptoms, before they develop into full-blown crises. This book is an oasis of relief and hope. 2004, New Harbinger
Overcoming Bipolar Disorder was designed to assist the bipolar patient to take charge of their disorder, learning about bipolar disorder in addition to exploring their experiences with it, including beliefs, first onset, triggers, cycles, feelings of stigma, effects of the disorder on social and spiritual facets of life, and effective coping strategies. This self-help workbook allows the individual living with bipolar disorder to become an authority on his or her disorder, and to make a change in the direction of controlling their symptoms and coping with the effects of bipolar.2009, New Harbinger
The authors of this book, specialists in mood disorders, offer a comprehensive overview of the available treatment options and most effective parenting strategies for dealing with children diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This self-help book offers advice on parental self-care and integrating the care of the bipolar child with the needs of the rest of the family. 2006, New Harbinger
Psychologist Jamison marshals evidence for the proposition that most artistic geniuses were (and are) manic-depressives. This is a book of interest to scientists, psychologists, and artists struggling with the age-old question of whether psychological suffering is an essential component of artistic creativity. 1996, Free Press
Kay Jamison is a psychologist who researches bipolar disorder and creativity. This is the story of her own history of bipolar disorder which she sees as a mixed blessing: complicating her life enormously and at the same time contributing to her creativity. This is a sensitive and compelling story. 1997, Random House