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Strictly Bipolar

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  185 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Strictly Bipolar is Darian Leader's treatise on the psychological disorder of our times.

If the post-war period was called the 'Age of Anxiety' and the 1980s and '90s the 'Antidepressant Era', we now live in Bipolar times. Mood-stabilising medication is routinely prescribed to adults and children alike, with child prescriptions this decade increasing by 400% and overall dia
112 pages
Published (first published May 2nd 2013)
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Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've recently been tentatively diagnosed as bipolar, so this remarkably readable and informative book came along at a most opportune time for me. Darian Leader is able to convey complex concepts in lucid, engaging prose and I intend to read more by him.

As for this book, it explores the trend towards diagnoses of bipolarism, the pharmaceutical approach to management and the inner experience and drives of the condition. Bipolarism is more complex than a simple pendulum state, and the manic end of
Sep 26, 2017 added it
One in four Americans is estimated to have some form of bipolar disorder. How did we come to this?

Darian Leader makes a very compelling case against the way we tend to see manic-depression as a question of biology, a thing to be resolved by pharmaceuticals. It's considered to be a whole spectrum now, and he explains why a correct diagnosis is crucial - often times, symptoms are part of other disorders, and we don't really ask enough questions to distinguish one from the other. We aren't treating
Aurélien Thomas
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mental-illness
Manic-depressive illness, although serious, used to be rare (roughly 1% of the population). Yet during the past three decades more and more people have not only been diagnosed but, put on a cocktail of medication to address their 'bipolarity'. Now, are such diagnosis genuine? Or is this increase a symptom of something deeper that is, something gone wrong with our mental healthcare systems?

Darian Leader, 'a psychoanalyst (...) and a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research and of t
Sastha Prakash
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The best analysis of manic-depression so far. It gives an account of how the pharmaceutical companies branding this as a biological condition and making it totally drug dependent. This condition has to be studied individually clinically and not brand one with set parameters of the bipolar spectrum. Nowadays this condition is treated with multiple drugs and trying to find the right cocktail, this is totally driven by the drug industry. Now, time is the factor and thereby old clinical approach is ...more
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent little book and a must for serious coaches. It is a joy to read an idea explored in such an intelligent and concise way.
Read alongside madness explained and what's wrong with you, your body never lies and simplicity parenting and you'll get a very healthy world view.
May 18, 2013 rated it liked it
"Strictly Bipolar" by Darian Leader discusses primarily the rebranding of "manic depression " into "bipolar disorder" at the end of the 90ies, but through this rebranding, Leader actually also analyses our overmedicated society. Leader reviews how this change in name, but also how marketing, have transformed the earlier approach into a drug-heavy approach focusing only on drugs and the fine-tuning of these drugs.

To take his words "there is an elephant in the room: the whole conversation is about
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Strictly bipolar is one of the most advanced books ever written on psychotherapy.Though not a conventional book yet it adds to the debate of differentiating the mental disorders namely bipolar disorder and maniac depressive disease.
The author here outline that maniac depressive disorder though very closely resembles bipolar disorder, yet they are not the same. Using very simple examples he has outlined the differences.
Even in psychiatry taught in med schools they are designated as same.
however i
Mind the Book
Hilary Mantel-blurbad (!) McFreud, d.v.s. en snabbläst faktapocket i ämnet psykologi. Ingår i serien 'A Penguin Special', vad det nu innebär. Baksidestexten utlovade analys av Vår Bipolära Era, den som efterträtt den Antidepressiva Eran.

Insåg för sent att författaren - tydligen verksam vid Roehampton University, ett stenkast härifrån - är djupt troende freudian och representerar det psykodynamiska perspektivet. Drabbas av vredesutbrott vid passager som "It has been argued that manic highs repeat
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
"We live in an age which pays lip service to history, yet which continually undermines the ties we have to the past."

An interesting read that sheds some light on how it feels to suffer from bipolar disorder. Excerpts from Stephen Fry's "Moab is my Washpot" and the "Fry Chronicles" and other authors' work illustrate personal experiences. Darian Leader then puts those experiences into perspective. Leader - a psychoanalyst in the tradition of Freud - manages to analyze the reasons behind the disord
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Started strongly with an attack on Big Pharma and questioning the categorisation of manic-depression. But it started rambling somewhere around the halfway mark and lost a lot of focus. Still, a good read for a psychoanalyst's view of what manic depression is, and arguing for a more holistic, less statistical and biological treatment for patients.
Damian Konopka
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The most real and factual book I have read about bipolar disorder. I learned more than I knew about bipolar, and more about myself. The last 5 pages I read many times over. So much of what Leader writes about will help me handle my illness better moving forward.
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book with very clear and precise meanings understanding of the manic disorders. This book helps you to understand all these bipolar people that is around us.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has a life changing power. Necessary.
David Bate
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Helped me understand a lot about my bipolar.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book was a little dense for a non-psychoanalysis background reader, but nonetheless, a great book with some great insights. I actually wish it was longer and he went more in depth with some of the things he talks about.
Luke Nicholas
Mar 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
As a person person with Bipolar, I was at first optimistic about this book. Having now read it, I think it's one of the most dangerous, ignorant, and insulting pieces of writing on the topic.

To make it clear: I think you should not buy this book. Not unless you're an ableist ignorant fool who wants to read a piece of Bipolar-denial. I normally would say in a review that a book is crap, but I'd never say don't buy it. I'm making an exception here because I believe the author should not be moneta
Joy Isabella
Strictly Bipolar is a very theoretically-based book looking at Bipolar Disorder. In saying that, it's not a complicated book, but it's clear that Leader is writing from a very objective perspective rather than one that has an emotional element to it. He describes the increase in Bipolar diagnoses following the provision of more medication for the disorder and tracks this development. It is interesting for anyone with an interest in the growth of mental health issues, but its brevity does make it ...more
Jun 30, 2013 rated it liked it
An interesting book, with a great deal of insightful information about bipolarity. However, it felt a bit drifty, it wasn't clear what the purpose was. Towards the end it became clearer that it was arguing for a fuller, old-psychiatry style treatment of patients, with full consideration of social conditions. However, this could have been better communicated from the outset.
Aug 11, 2014 added it
'Just as depression had been actively marketed as a disorder by those who purveyed a chemical cure for it, so bipolar was packaged and sold along with its remedy.'
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Very rambling, no real organisation to the thoughts presented, and in those thoughts I found nothing particularly original.
Nick Jacob
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Liked it as wanted some insight into mood disorders. This is a psychoanalytic perspective on it. And goes after pharma companies selling bipolar when antidepressants no longer so profitable
Vanessa Barcelos
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Strictly Bipolar follow on impressions in BPD 1 1 May 19, 2015 12:10AM  
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Darian Leader is a British psychoanalyst and author. He is a founding member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research (CFAR).

Darian Leader is President of the College of Psychoanalysts, a Trustee of the Freud Museum, and Honorary Visiting Professor in Psychoanalysis at Roehampton University.

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