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The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  951 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Thanks to sharper diagnosis and better medicine, the future is brighter for people with bipolar disorder than in past generations. But if you or someone you love is struggling with the frantic highs and crushing lows of this illness, there are still many hurdles to surmount at home, at work, and in daily life.

*How can you learn to distinguish between the early warning sign
Paperback, 322 pages
Published January 24th 2002 by The Guilford Press (first published December 31st 2001)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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May 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book was a major disappointment. I was led to believe that this book would be different, that it would take a different & fresh view of this problem that seems to plague so many. In the end this book simply repeats what everyone else says about any kind of “mental illness” –take your meds, they are good for you, and you are not marked or stigmatized for life though in a sense you really are.

On page 75 the author says, “You have an underlying biochemical disturbances w/which you may have bee
Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)
My rating isn't for the book as a whole, but for the audiobook. I think the book itself is worth 4 stars. It was helpful, interesting, talked about many things that can help family members, the patient, and the practitioner. It's definitely one of those books that I would recommend to someone struggling with bipolar disorder or struggling with a friend/family member/coworker who has it. If only it was updated to the DSM-5, but oh well.

Now, the audiobook was good. However, they just assumed that
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I've read it halfway and found it really helpful. The first few chapters talk about patients' stories and gave a heartwarming and hopeful introduction to those who were just diagnosed with bipolar. In my country, there's a lot of social stigma attached on mental/mood disorders and reading this book makes me feel less lonely and hopeful. It also provides guidelines/suggestions on how to identify a manic/hypomanic or depressive episode. I recommend this book to fellow bipolar patients who want to ...more
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I would have to say this book provides quite a plethora of not only useful, but practical information as well as guidance on how to go about organizing one's life. I must say, I think the author isn't so bad himself.

I would recommend this book to anyone with bipolar disorder that wants a way to incorporate a few tips and tricks with how to deal with their particular situation in life.

In fact I'd say I highly recommend this book, for the tips and tricks, though.

I don't agree with a lot of view po
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars rounded up.

This is an excellent, comprehensive book that covers all the basics related to bipolar disorder. It's especially helpful for those who have been recently diagnosed, and includes a lot of exercises and worksheets to help you and your family manage the disorder more effectively.

I found the chapters on medications, how to detect the early warning signs of a manic or depressive episode, and the special considerations that women with bipolar disorder must deal with particularly i
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sarah by: Dr. Kinard @ NAMI
This is an excellent resource for anyone with bipolar disorder. It is straightforward with the facts, but delivers them with gentleness and compasssion. I highly recommend it to consumers, families, friends, and people just curious about how mental illness manifests itself.
May 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
I found this book very thorough and it helped me understand the more "negative" emotions that can occur during mania.
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
was very helpful...........
Raghad Mansoor
The audiobook was long but it actually was really helpful. There were a lot of tips and ways to cope with each side of being bipolar. Started from the day you’re diagnosed, the ups and downs from being manic to deeply depressed and it went on deep detail about suicidal thoughts. I think having the hard copy version can be more useful as you would be able to actually re-read the tips and use them, but it was helpful as well to get a set of ideas that you can create something out of them that work ...more
Tracy Morton
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
A lot of information. Good for anybody starting off e.
This was a very handy all-in-one-place run down on what bipolar disorder is, what makes someone susceptible to developing the disorder, how it's diagnosed, and how it's treated. The section one medications was really well-written and a lot more clear than much of the information I have been able to find online; I'm not sure if there was any influence from drug companies involved, but it felt like a very neutral, well-written article and I wouldn't hesitate to point a friend exploring their medic ...more
Lilly Ann Wolvesley
Miklowitz is a professor and directs the Integrative Study Center in Mood Disorders and the Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Program at UCLA’s Semel Institute. The book is a practical, easy to follow guide from diagnosis to striving for wellness while living with Bipolar Disorder. When I was first diagnosed, I was a bit…uncomfortable with the diagnosis. I ordered the Nook book, so no one else knew what I was reading. Miklowitz also offers a book regarding Family-Focused Treatment (FFT). I kno ...more
Brandon  Benson
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great resource and must for recently diagnosed

Relatively short but in depth, it still took me 5 months to get through this from time of diagnosis until now. Partially periods of time willfully not wanting to deal with it, just busy, and trying to absorb it as thoroughly as possible. Outside of your family, psychologist and psychiatrist this is the place to start. Great personal examples. Great medical insight. Helpful for relationships, workplace, daily routine, coping strategies. I wish I could
Joshua Gage
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
A lot more scientific than the other books that I've read, the bulk of this book discusses Bipolar Disorder from a doctor's perspective, including possible treatments, medications, etc. and all the studies related to them. The actual chapters on dealing with Bipolar Disorder on a day-to-day basis are short and vague. This is a great book for people trying to understand the disorder, but not too helpful for someone trying to battle it daily.
Christine Fay
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is an important book for anyone with BPD or with a family member who has BPD to read. There are a lot of helpful strategies for dealing with the challenges that come from living with someone who suffers from the mood swings of bipolar disorder. There is a mood chart, a depression chart, and other valuable tools to help one manage their disease and maximize their lives. There is also emphasis placed on family involvement as being key to self-management as well.
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book not as a person with bipolar disorder, nor a family member, but as a physician who deals with recommending treatment for this illness. This book seemed a bit repetitive and simple, but it is an easily-digested way for folks affected by this disease to understand what's happening and prepare for the future. Recommended.
Nov 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Luisa by: my therapist
This book is so helpful. It goes a long way to understanding, accepting, and dealing with bipolar disorder. It should be the first stop for anyone dealing with this diagnosis for him/herself or his/her loved one's
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Excellent chapter on suicide & making a suicide prevention plan. And the whole book is more of a "here's what to do about it" instead of just lots of information thrown at you.

I read the entire book, cover to cover, while in the psych hospital for a week. There's not much to do there...
Dec 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: unfinished
The first half of the book was informative in detail, but not useful for me as a friend to a bipolar person. The second half seemed better, but this book is really for the person who has it. (got to page 204 out of 322)
Ian Reynir
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was impressed ith Miklowitz's journal articles, but his dumbing down of the truth is not good for high-functioning bipolars. The average bipolar may find this to be useful, but for deeper understanding and more advanced treatments that really work better, I can't suggest this book.
AJ LeBlanc
Aug 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This has been very helpful for figuring out what's going on in my brain.
Steve Garvin
Dec 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Although this reads more like a textbook, there is some good information in it.
Libby King
Aug 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Not quite as advertised. Mostly helpful for people who are Bi-Polar. Not a lot of help for their families! A few good ideas though.
Paloma Etienne
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bipolar
Very clear and helpful. It helps you get it together and take it from there
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology, american
A practical and comprehensive survival guide for those affected by bipolar disorder.
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really helped me understand the disease and provided the much needed prospective to relate to those who have it. I feel more empowered having read this book.
Peter Damien
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very useful, informative overview sort of book. Looks and seems a bit like a textbook at first, but it's actually very readable.
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really good and informative, but dry in parts. This is more like a reference type deal, not a straight though read.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good overview of beginning to cope with bipolar disorder. Practical advice, and a series of useful worksheets.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Informative

I learned so much about the disorder and my wife. I recommend reading this if you know and love someone with Bipolar or Borderline personality Disorder.
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“Losing even a single night’s sleep can precipitate a manic episode in people with bipolar disorder who have otherwise been stable (Malkoff-Schwartz et al. 1998). In parallel, sleep deprivation can improve the mood of a person with depression, although only briefly (Harvey, 2008).” 0 likes
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