Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Why Am I Still Depressed? Recognizing and Managing the Ups and Downs of Bipolar II and Soft Bipolar Disorder” as Want to Read:
Why Am I Still Depressed? Recognizing and Managing the Ups and Downs of Bipolar II and Soft Bipolar Disorder
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Why Am I Still Depressed? Recognizing and Managing the Ups and Downs of Bipolar II and Soft Bipolar Disorder

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  281 ratings  ·  27 reviews
If your depression keeps coming back or is even getting worse, then you may be suffering from bipolar II or 'soft' bipolar disorder. This text shows you how to identify if you have a nonmanic form of bipolar disorder and how to work with your doctor to safely and effectively treat it.
Paperback, 276 pages
Published March 27th 2006 by McGraw-Hill Education (first published March 6th 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about Why Am I Still Depressed? Recognizing and Managing the Ups and Downs of Bipolar II and Soft Bipolar Disorder

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  281 ratings  ·  27 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Why Am I Still Depressed? Recognizing and Managing the Ups and Downs of Bipolar II and Soft Bipolar Disorder
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This changed my life. I'm not exaggerating at all. Dr Phelps' website is the first thing that led me to consider bipolar disorder after having the diagnoses of depression, anxiety, and insomnia for seven years. Now on mood stabilizers, I've had good days for the first time in seven years. This summer I finally had a week at a time where I felt like a normal person, happy and confident and relaxed, feeling like I belong, able to participate in conversations, and so forth.

Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fantastic look into the issues, reality and treatment of Bipolar II. My doctor recommended I read it as part of my treatment. This book gives a straight up presentation of this mental illness and how to understand and manage having it. The nuts and bolts approach helps demystify it as well as provides a framework to manage and cope.
Sep 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone just diagnosed with Bipolar II & their loved ones
Shelves: mental-health
FANTASTIC book. Well-written; it came across as a knowledgable, trusted doctor talking to a patient. He also uses his website ( as an extension of the book, with additional notes and updates. Invaluable.

p.s. guess what I got diagnosed with? :)
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I honestly cannot believe I read a book with this title- it just seems so...melodramatic? I don't know...kind of a weird title given the subject matter, in my opinion.

But I heard a few people talk about how it was a must-read in regards to bipolar, and since a lot of my other options have been feeling kind of played out, I figured it wouldn't hurt.

And it certainly didn't. But on the other hand, after 15 years of dealing with this, there was very, VERY little in here that came as any surprise/rel
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
First of all, ya gotta love an MD who uses his nickname ("Jim") on the title page. The author is down home, encourages skepticism, and really appears to know his stuff on bipolar issues. His website is very helpful. If anyone has any bipolar issues in the family, I'd strongly urge getting a copy of this book and reading it.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bipolar
I am giving this 5 stars because it made a significant difference in my life. I was misdiagnosed for years, just like he describes as so common. I read this a year ago so don't remember so much the details. Just his humility as a provider (not the bs doc knows best/you are not the authority on your own experience attitude that so many mental health specialist prescribers have). He explains things in simple terms that are accessible. I call him Dr Rainbow because his website has rainbows on it :- ...more
Peter Anderson
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had never heard of Soft Bipolar before, so when I read this I was surprised to feel like I was reading about my life. We live in an amazing time with information and experts at our fingertips and Jim Phelps does a great job encouraging and teaching the interested learner. I recommend this book.
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When my husband was diagnosed bipolar II over a year ago, I read every book in it that I found. I wish I had read this sooner, during that time. The information and explanations are incredibly helpful. My insight could have been better if I read this then.
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the BEST books to read if you've been diagnosed with BP or wondering if you are. Excellent!!
Bob Buehler
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Looked through it for highlights, found some interesting tidbits. Geared toward helping the individual take charge of his/her own diagnosis, treatment and progress --always a good thing.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, my psychiatrist made me start reading this before we made any changes to my medication regime, to see how much of it actually resonated with me. 87 highlights later, I'd say a lot has.

Useful information on how to recognize mood spectrum disorders when the mania isn't as evident, education on standard medications available and the pros and cons of each. Also a touch of what's actually going on in the brain chemistry and other things that can interact and affect mood swings.

I'm really glad s
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
Recognizing, yes. Managing, never.
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent resource on the Mood Spectrum and “soft” bipolar disorder. A must read for anyone with Bipolar II - lots of practical tips and good information.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
This book is life changing.

Dr. Phelps explains in his 2014 book A Spectrum Approach To Mood Disorders: "Two hundred and 26 separate genes have been associated with Bipolar Disorder (Nurnberger al., 2014). Although these likely sort into a few major pathways...even 5 major Bipolar pathways, each with just 10 variations, would have 250 different combinations...It seems there are as many bipolar variations as there are patients: Each person has a different mix of depression and manic experiences."

Oct 30, 2011 rated it liked it
I skimmed through this book to read the topics that I was interested in, so I didn't read the whole thing cover to cover.

Antidepressants that aren't antidepressants
1. Exercise
2. Light and sleep shifts
3. Fish oil (evidence that these can affect mood is slowly racking up, but the best does is not yet established)
4. Psychotherapy

Watching sleep, light and darkness closely
The connection between sleep and mood stability is as yet unknown, but it has to do with your biological clock.
The retina registe
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I valued this book immensely for helping me better understand my own bipolar and increasing my confidence in my diagnosis. However, the writing quality and editing are half-assed. I really hope they fix this in future editions as the book is worth it.

It richly covers topics on which I could find little information in the online resources I’ve read. Those topics include: a) the bipolar spectrum as an alternative to the DSM model for viewing this illness, b) the idea that many people not meeting
Judy Ball
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Folksy and readable, yet full of useful information from research and practice (his own). My doctor recommended Dr. Phelps' website; I read the book and have since been using the website as well. His practice of using the website to extend and update the material in the book is commendable. Phelps' discussion of the bipolar spectrum, limitations of DSM diagnostic criteria, and how they differ from real-world patients' experiences was especially useful. References to literature on affective insta ...more
Natasha Tracy
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mental-health
An amazing book, particularly for people with bipolar II or those who are diagnosed with major depression but suspect bipolar disorder.

This book sheds light on bipolar disorder in a way that other books don't and it's written in a way that anyone can understand. Dr. Phelps is an amazing resource and a trusted expert.

This is a must-read for people with bipolar II or those who think they may have bipolar.

Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
My doctor recommended this when I was diagnosed. A very good explanation of the differences between type 1 and 2. There is much emphasis on the importance of exercise, which is definitely something I need to go back and read from time to time because I am a slacker. A very good resource.
Good book. Very helpful. Best for anyone with mood disorder, especially if you're on the spectrum

really good mood disorder book. I learned a lot. Phelps is a great writer. Lots of resources included too! Thanks.
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
The writing is atrociously chummy and folksy but the info is good and hard to find elsewhere.
Mar 04, 2015 rated it liked it
People are healthier when they keep routines. Fancy that.
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology, american
For those who suffer from recurrent, cyclical depression, this is an important book to understand why anti-depressants stop working and your depression keeps coming back.
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great reference book. Solid information about the basics of Bipolar Disorder and what you can do.
rated it really liked it
Jan 25, 2014
John Massarini  RHIT
rated it it was amazing
Nov 01, 2016
Erin Morper
rated it it was amazing
Sep 02, 2015
Oonagh MacIain
rated it did not like it
Jan 28, 2016
Jennifer Sturchio
rated it it was amazing
Sep 14, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • My Bucket Has Holes: Living with Bipolar II
  • Run
  • Sing It To Her Bones (Hannah Ives Mystery #1)
  • The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know
  • If You Were Here
  • The Face of a Stranger (William Monk, #1)
  • Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder
  • All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
  • In Her Shadow
  • Long Gone
  • Unfollow: A Journey from Hatred to Hope
  • Lies My Doctor Told Me: Medical Myths That Can Harm Your Health
  • An Inquiry Into Love and Death
  • Last of the Magpies (Magpies, #3)
  • A Murder of Magpies (The Magpies, #2)
  • What the Man in the Moon Told Me: Living With Bipolar II A Memoir
  • The Guest Room
  • Pretty Baby
See similar books…

Related Articles

  The cohosts of the By the Book podcast, Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer, are hitting the bookshelves themselves this spring with thei...
56 likes · 15 comments
“TABLE 2.1 The Spectrum of Manic Symptoms” 0 likes
More quotes…