These Bipolar Disorder Books Can Help You Get Better

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The highs and lows of bipolar disorder can make the world seem like a rollercoaster. Both for the individual and their loved ones. While it’s no substitute for proper treatment, a good book can help provide perspective on this condition.

In this article, we’ve compiled a small list of bipolar disorder books. You’ll also learn more about the diagnosis and what a treatment plan for bipolar disorder may look like.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder was first known as manic-depressive disorder. It is a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings.

Individuals with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and atypical behaviors—often without recognizing their potentially harmful or undesirable effects.

The concept of bipolar disorder dates back to ancient times. Historical documents describe symptoms similar to bipolar disorder, although it wasn’t clearly distinguished from other psychiatric conditions.

Interestingly, there’s evidence that those with bipolar disorder were venerated. For example, notable ancient Greeks believed some forms of “madness” (as was then the term) were linked to creativity and genius.

Aristotle once wrote “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” Indeed, he claimed that Plato and Socrates were melancholic figures and that this was part of the reason for their brilliance.

Socrates is reported to have said “…there is also a madness which is a divine gift, and the source of the chiefest blessings granted to men,” and that when it comes to poetry and art, “…the sane man disappears and is nowhere when he enters into rivalry with the madman.” The condition described here with its description of trance-like states and manic episodes, is what we would today perhaps recognize as bipolar disorder.

Today, an estimated 2.8% of US adults have bipolar disorder. Various books about bipolar disorder have been written in modern times, deepening our understanding of this condition. We now differentiate between several types of bipolar disorder and have a rigorous set of criteria for a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

What Are the Different Types of Bipolar Disorder?

The DSM-5 distinguishes between three different types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I Disorder — Defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days or by manic symptoms that are so severe that immediate hospital care is needed. Depressive episodes usually occur as well, typically lasting at least two weeks. At least one episode of mania or mixed mania and depression is needed for a bipolar I disorder diagnosis.
  • Bipolar II Disorder — A pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes of Bipolar I. Several depressive episodes and one hypomanic episode is needed for a bipolar II disorder diagnosis.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder — Numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least two years (one year in children and adolescents), but not meeting the diagnostic requirements for hypomanic and depressive episodes.

Each type of bipolar disorder affects individuals differently and requires a tailored approach to treatment and management. It’s important to work closely with healthcare professionals for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment planning.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

According to the American Psychological Association, bipolar disorder is characterized by shifts between manic and depressive states.

Common signs of a manic state include:

  • Euphoria
  • Talking rapidly
  • Feeling irritated
  • Overconfidence
  • Insomnia or impaired sleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Behaving impulsively
  • Risk-seeking behaviors like gambling, speeding, or unsafe sex

Signs of a depressive state include:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Irritability
  • Low self-esteem
  • Withdrawal from previously-enjoyed activities
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Experiencing unusual sleep habits such as sleeping too much or too little
  • Thinking about death or suicide

It’s important to note that the ICD-10 requires at least two discrete mood episodes for a bipolar disorder diagnosis. Professional evaluation by a healthcare provider is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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Bipolar Disorder Books to Check Out

Sometimes it can be comforting to read helpful books on the condition or mental health care in general. These can act as a guide for patients who are struggling with mental disorders. Use these books to understand what bipolar disorder is all about. 

This list of bipolar disorder books includes a mix of personal accounts and professional insights you might find helpful:

  • “An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness” by Kay Redfield Jamison — This memoir is written by a clinical psychologist who herself has bipolar disorder. It provides a unique insight into the personal and professional aspects of living with the condition.
  • “The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know” by David J. Miklowitz — This book is a practical guide for individuals and families, offering current information about treatment options and strategies for managing the disorder.
  • “Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner” by Julie A. Fast and John Preston — This book is particularly useful for partners of those with bipolar disorder, offering advice on how to support a loved one while also taking care of oneself.
  • “Bipolar, Not So Much: Understanding Your Mood Swings and Depression” by Chris Aiken and James Phelps — This book aims to broaden the understanding of mood disorders by discussing the spectrum of bipolar conditions, including less severe forms.
  • “Madness: A Bipolar Life” by Marya Hornbacher — This is a raw and honest memoir detailing the author’s experiences with bipolar disorder, from her diagnosis through her journey of living with the condition.
  • “The Bipolar Workbook: Tools for Controlling Your Mood Swings” by Monica Ramirez Basco — A practical workbook offering strategies and exercises to help manage the mood swings associated with bipolar disorder.
  • “Bipolar Happens! 35 Tips and Tricks to Manage Bipolar Disorder” by Julie A. Fast — Written by someone who has bipolar disorder, this book provides practical tips for managing the illness.
  • “Bipolar Breakthrough: The Essential Guide to Going Beyond Moodswings to Harness Your Highs, Escape the Cycles of Recurrent Depression, and Thrive with Bipolar II” by Ronald R. Fieve — This book focuses on Bipolar II, offering insights into managing the less extreme form of the disorder.

Each of these bipolar disorder and mental health books offers a different perspective and set of tools, providing a well-rounded understanding and approach to managing bipolar disorder.

How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated?

Bipolar disorder is typically treated using a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. The specific treatment plan may vary depending on the individual and the type and severity of their symptoms. Some common treatment approaches include:

  • Medication — Mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and other medications may be prescribed to help manage symptoms and stabilize mood.
  • Psychotherapy — Talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can help those with bipolar disorder manage their symptoms, cope with stress, and develop healthy strategies for managing mood swings.
  • Lifestyle changes — Making healthy lifestyle choices can also play a role in managing bipolar disorder. This may include getting regular exercise, practicing good sleep hygiene, maintaining a balanced diet, and avoiding alcohol and drug use.
  • Support network — Building a strong support system of family, friends, and support groups can provide valuable emotional support and help individuals with bipolar disorder navigate their condition.
  • Hospitalization — Hospitalization or partial hospitalization may be required if you’re behaving dangerously, you feel suicidal or you become detached from reality (psychotic). Getting psychiatric treatment at a hospital can help keep you calm and safe and stabilize your mood.
  • Substance abuse treatment — Bipolar disorder is comorbid with various substance abuse disorders. If you have problems with drugs or alcohol,  addiction treatment will need to be part of any treatment for bipolar disorder.

It’s crucial for individuals with bipolar disorder to be actively involved in their treatment plan and to communicate openly with their healthcare team about their symptoms, treatment preferences, and any side effects of medications. Not all issues have simple and practical mental health solutions. Working with a bipolar expert can help. If you’re living with someone with bipolar disorder, call us today. 

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Bipolar Disorder Treatment at SCBH

If you or a loved one are seeking treatment for addiction or mental illness, books on bipolar disorder and South Coast Behavioral Health are here to help. Living with bipolar disorder doesn’t have to be difficult with treatment options available. We can help establish lasting stability for those living with bipolar or manic depression symptoms regularly. The first step in treating addiction is a medical detox. This means using drugs to manage withdrawal symptoms.

Our medical detox program in California is staffed by caring and compassionate professionals. They provide you with medications to manage your withdrawal symptoms.

At South Coast, we take pride in offering care that is closely tailored to specific issues for you, and your family and friends. To that end, we offer gender-specific detox programs, with medical detox for men in Irvine, CA, and medical detox for women in Huntington Beach, CA.

After detoxing, proper treatment can begin.

Treatment for substance abuse takes place along an entire spectrum of care. Along that entire spectrum are various behavioral therapies, support groups, and the use of medically-assisted treatment (MAT).

These levels of treatment are, in order, as follows:

Residential Treatment in California

After successfully completing medical detox, you’ll receive inpatient treatment in Orange County California. There, you’ll receive medically-assisted treatment and dual diagnosis treatment to deal with any cravings or co-occurring mental health issues you may be battling.

We also offer residential treatment facilities in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Huntington Beach for those who desire gender-specific treatment. There, patients get round-the-clock medical attention and monitoring while living at the institution full-time.

In addition to individual and group counseling and medication management, you’ll also have access to leisure activities and family support services.

Partial Hospitalization in California

Most clients start substance abuse treatment with South Coast in our residential treatment program. After completing that, many desire something that still provides structure and support, but with extra space and time to oneself. For that, we offer Partial Hospitalization in Newport Beach.

A step down from inpatient care but with more structure than conventional outpatient programs, partial hospitalization offers a good balance for those looking to ease back into normal life. Clients can receive care five to seven days a week for a number of hours each day, returning back to their homes in the evening.

This way, they can recover without putting their daily lives completely on hold, receiving intense therapeutic interventions like group and individual therapy, skill development, and medication management as necessary.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment in California

For those leaving inpatient residential treatment or partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are yet another gradual step forward on the road to recovery.

With a focus on group therapy, individual counseling, and education, clients undergoing Intensive Outpatient Treatment in Newport Beach can meet three to five days a week. Each session lasts three hours.

This level of care requires the least amount of attendance at a facility. Contact us today and learn more. Our treatment center can help. 

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If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol addiction but wonder how long addiction treatment takes or have other questions, call us at 866-881-1184. Our highly qualified staff will be happy to help give you an idea of what to expect from your addiction recovery timeline, help verify your insurance, and assist with any other questions you may have.

Pierce Willans
Kelly McIntyre
Medically Reviewed by Kelly McIntyre, MS, LMFT
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