Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Strictly Bipolar” as Want to Read:
Strictly Bipolar
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Strictly Bipolar

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  33 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)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  262 ratings  ·  33 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Strictly Bipolar
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
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
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
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.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hem alandan olanların hem de bipolar bozukluk tanısı almış yakını olanların okuması gereken bir kitap. Dsm tanı kriterlerinin uzağında, bir bipoların yaşadıklarının psikodinamik kökenini anlamak ve yıkıcı ya da bencilce dürtüsel davranışların asıl amacını keşfetme olanağı sunuyor. Dili son derece açık ve akıcı, önsöz kısmı sizi korkutmasın. Kitabın içinde bir takım ünlü bipolarla da karşılaşacaksınız, yani biraz magazinle de çeşnilendirilmiş.
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I discovered Darian Leader, belatedly, about a year ago, and he’s definitely become a favorite. He has a great psychoanalytic gift for interpreting symptoms. I love the clarity of his writing His hostility to biological approaches is unnecessary and offhand, and is a repeating flaw in his work.
Tejaswinee Kelkar
Love this book

The psychopathology of manic depression is written not ignoring the sociocultural and economic truths of a generation, and contextualising the narrative, discursive framework of the experience of vitality and energy in mania. The motifs of references in personal histories of people living with bipolar and critical differences from other psychological states was very insightful to read for me. Look forward to reading more from this author.
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
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
Berna Labourdette
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Otro libro buenísimo de Leader donde entrega muchos ejemplos sobre los síntomas de la bipolaridad (por ejemplo: el hecho de robar, derrochar o regalar dinero que tiene mucha gente durante los episodios maníacos ligándolo a una idea de "deuda", dando ejemplos con los casos de Kay Jamison y Stephen Fry, y explicando la suerte de relación extrema que presentan las personas con las palabras y los hechos que les suceden, por la facilidad de palabra en episodios maníacos). Muy bueno.
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 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book frames itself as an attack on Big Pharma and the deliberate pathologisation of people for profit. What it suggests in place of current approaches to mental illness is a return to the psychoanalytic theories of the ninteenth early twentieth century. While there are many problems in current mental health care, retuning to a non-scientific approach is not a helpful suggestion.

Much of the evidence provided for the arguments made in the book comes from celebrity autobiographies and occasio
Janette Townend
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love books that challenge the medical need to medicate all mental health issues and this book shines a light on new thinking on bipolar by listening to those who live with bipolar issues every day. A succinct and thought provoking book I learnt a lot about contemporary views on Bipolar disease which has put to bed my previous knowledge and opened my eyes.
Gregory Kaplan
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dense and tightly argued, this book closely tracks the dynamics of manic depression (Leader’s preferred label). Most insightful point is that manic depression is linked to some kind of debt that cannot be repaid. One interesting hypothesis or observation is that bipolar disorder is triggered by an unseen or hidden familial trauma, such as a death in the family of origin.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Short but sweet review on the clinical diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Many stories of what the experience is like, and some arguments against how the heavily pharmaceutical led focus of treatment may effect the way one lives the experience of being bipolar. I don't think he's obvious with what he's arguing but an interesting read none the less.
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.
3 - 3,5
Aug 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
"La depresión es, posteriormente, el regreso de todo su peso, el impacto enorme de lo que estaba ausente en los momentos de la manía."
Fahima Jaffar
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
قراءة فاتنة ❤
Joy Finlayson
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.'
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Strictly Bipolar follow on impressions in BPD 1 4 May 19, 2015 12:10AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason
  • The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness
  • Pandemic!: Covid-19 Shakes the World
  • I Love Dick
  • My Life
  • Ferdydurke
  • When the Sleeper Wakes
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 3
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 4
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion 2-in-1 Edition, Vol. 5
  • Taming the Beast Within: Shredding the Stereotypes of Personality Disorder
  • Attention Seeking
  • The Call of the Weird: Travels in American Subcultures
  • The Machine Stops
  • A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Technique
  • Burnt Sugar
  • Love and Other Thought Experiments
  • Plata quemada
See similar books…
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.

From Wikipedia:

Related Articles

For more than a decade, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the world-renowned astrophysicist and host of the popular radio and Emmy-nominated...
74 likes · 13 comments