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Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner
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Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  538 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder is a first of its kind book—written specifically for the partner of a person with bipolar disorder. If you have a loved one with bipolar, you know how disruptive and straining this disorder can be to your relationship. You may experience feelings of fear, loss, and anxiety as well as a constant uncertainly about your loved one’s ever-ch ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by New Harbinger Publications (first published January 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  538 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Although I would like to have a manual exclusively of my partner. Each person with this disease has different levels within it by multiple factors. the book gives excellent tips on how to handle the situation, that we are not alone, that we should improve and that our thoughts are not all bad or anomalous.
Aug 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: beepers and anyone who is around them
Shelves: medical
This is the #1 book I tell people to read about BP. It's the only book I know of that isn't targetted specifically at person experiencing BP or a parent of someone experiencing BP.

If you experience BP, giving this book to someone who loves you wll do more than reading any book on handling BP yourself. Especially early after the diagnosis, outside observation and input from someone supportive who knows you well is the best start to treatment. This book gives them the tools they need.

It's a frank
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in one night. The first time I've been able to focus long enough to read a book in one day since the last Tom Clancy novel.
Having recently been diagnosed with bipolar 2, I did find this book helpful in understanding quite a number of things that before now had gone unrecognized as symptoms of bipolar. Some aspects of my life could have been much simpler had I read this book 20 years ago!
Overall, I found the book helpful and might give it a higher rating once I've read a few more bo
I really struggled with this book. On the one hand, there were many helpful suggestions, such as creating symptom lists for various moods and mood episodes, which included thoughts, emotions, behaviors, etc. In that way, it was really pragmatic and encouraged uniting the person with bipolar disorder and their partner against the illness, rather than get bogged down in counterproductive and damaging behaviors and ways of relating to one another. The text assumed the reader really had zero experie ...more
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was a game changer for how my partner and I viewed the illness. Not only did it give us many tactics to use in overcoming the hardships of bipolar disorder, it gave us hope that there can be a life together beyond it.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Torn between a two and a three on this book. Starts out well with information and ideas for goals in working together, but it got harder to stick with as it went on. The words rigid and overly simplistic come to mind regarding how it presents the challenges of bipolar for partners. As a counselor I would share some of the information and ideas, but I would not recommend this book to clients.
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thought this was one of the best books about bipolar and how a partner can help or work through triggers, stay well, and strategies. My husband read it as well, and we intend to do the exercises together.

I am bipolar and this is one of the most helpful books I've read.
Dawn Wells
Sep 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really good read to understand a spouse with bipolar.
Mark Terry
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
worth reading , was helpful
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Some parts were really good and clarifying. Some was repetitive.
The sex life chapter I could have done without. She really didn't do this chapter well.
I think I would have organized it differently with parts about self care for the partner earlier on rather than at the end.
I did like the journal prompts and the pushing towards honest discussions around this with partners.
The audio book was quick way to get through what could be a heavy topic for some.
Realistic, helpful to a point

I liked all of the journaling questions to get a clearer picture of the disorder, how it affects each of us and needs. I was hoping for more suggestions and tools in particular for spouses. It was heavy for me to read since my spouse is not willing to work on his bipolar right now and hasn't for a long time due to his illness. I appreciated the reality checks, and the way the author could relate to the feelings of both the spouse and the loves one v suffering with bi
Mala Ashok
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
A valuable book for a certain community. I would have to say though that it is too skewed in favour of depression as opposed to mania and hypomania. Thus the suggestions for caregivers as to how to manage their partners' illness is not always appropriate. Also, the point needs to be made repeatedly that there is no standard and every person who has Bipolar Disorder is different; thus behaviour of the caregiver should also be different.
Devon Trevarrow Flaherty
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who love someone with bipolar
Recommended to Devon by: mother-in-law
Still reading, but it's great so far. The author requests that you move slow. Every paragraph is a new "aha!" moment, a new reason to cry (which we all know I need to do more). As far as therapy goes, this book, the Bible, my journal, and the soundtrack for "Once" are doing it for me right now.
Mark Syron
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
This book is not a complex book to read, which can be a good bit, in this case, it hindered the book for a bit. The positive of this book is that it does discuss boundaries to make but it does not clear what is a bipolar disorder boundary or a plain old good boundary. Knowing which is which might help to understand the boundary limit and while keeping it firm held in a more gentler light. I liked the whole idea of a holistic treatment idea. The cons I have with the book is that some things just ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Great book with a detailed introduction to living with someone who are suffering of Bipolar Disorder. It also gives good insides to how it must feel to have the illness yourself. I am not able to evaluate if the methods in the book are usable in real life, but they sound reasonable.
Jess Stockman
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, bipolar
I wish I had this book years ago! Amazing! It helps you understand and tells you exactly what to do and how to do it, but of course still giving you power to choose. This is the most valuable book I’ve in regards to my spouse and I’ve read tons of self-help type books!
Wardah Beg
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Darla Oliver
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have been searching for more of an informational book, downloaded this and it was a great source of information for bipolar. It puts it in everyone's eyes. Great read couldn't put it down!
Lisa Macon
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Had some good ideas but every relationship is different and mine is definitely not like the one the book focused on.
Vilém Zouhar
Aug 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Something you'd find when browsing in an awkwardly automatically generated database, such as Starts good, but then some chapters were straight on repetitive and redundant. ...more
Lewis White
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extremely well researched and knowledgeable of field, and written with business and compassion.
Gabriella  Schiller
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mental-health
Very very useful
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lifesaver

My husband was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and this is by far the best book for spouses/significant others that I have read. It's good to read a few books for the person with bipolar disorder (I highly recommend Welcome to the Jungle) but this book gets me. It has been an emotional experience reading this book as I recognized how many of the symptoms and behaviors my husband was showing and even the ones I was experiencing. I had to put it down a few times because it was
Jun 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good study on how to living with your partner and working around the illness instead of trying to fix it. It's as holistic as the treatment plan it suggests and refreshing to hear that I'm not the only person (as a caretaker) who goes through this stuff. I loved many of the sections that explained how to find what works for myself and my partner, most of which were at the beginning of the book. However as the book went on I expected it to keep going on finding things to try during the harder t ...more
Michael Wolf
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've been implementing many of the ideas from this book as I've seen fit to use with a dear friend of mine that has BD II, and it's in the revelation of the truths when we talk about the skills and systems of approaching the disorder talked about in this book that mark for me the book's usefulness, and perhaps now for her, as through my relating of the book's ideas and content she now wants to read it and participate in the systematic approach of better dealing with the effects of bipolar disord ...more
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is mainly about strategies on how to deal with someone who is bipolar. The strategies seem straightforward for the most part and give the reader ideas on what to do and when to do it. Bipolar is an all encompassing disease that is still being defined today. The book seems to focus on the relationship a significant other would have with someone who is bipolar. The books also seems to focus on people who are diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder (currently there are several types or disorder ...more
Aug 06, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: improvement
This is the first book I've read on the subject and being that, I found it to be beneficial. The authors cover the major topics and give you a framework to help manage a relationship with a person that has the illness but don’t go into medication, other than specifying to make sure that they’re being taken.

Most of the examples are for Bipolar I, which is more extreme and require more work/caretaking on the partner that isn’t ill.

It still gives a good foundation for dealing with a Bipolar II par
Barbara Atlas
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I don't know the credentials of this author nor whether there's any science behind her claims; I listened because it showed up on the list of available audio books at the Arlington Public Library. I would have enjoyed reading it more that listening to it on my iPhone, because the reader spoke sooooooo slowly, and I came to detest how she said "bipolar disorder."

Despite all that, it was an interesting book that affirmed what I knew and taught me much more. Someone who has been correctly diagnose
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This author was recommended to me by a friend who has a family history of the illness. It is outstanding - a wonderful resource for anyone in a relationship with someone who is bi-polar (as well as the individual him/herself), and gives anyone interested a very good idea of how bi-polar manifests itself. It's aimed at a couple managing the illness by recognizing the verbal/non-verbal cues that can spiral downward into depression or mania, and nipping the symptoms in the bud. I plan to read her o ...more
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: counseling
An okay book. It has some helpful suggestions for couples but it also promises a lot more suggestions that it never delivers on. There were also some suggestions, that as a counselor, I could never recommend to a client. An okay book for information, but do not use it as your only source of information. Reach out to professionals and read more on the topic from other authors.

This was the first edition, I didn't read the second edition which has been released now. The first edition is riddled wit
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Julie A. Fast is a critically acclaimed six-time author, radio host, national speaker, and sought after expert in the field of mental health management. Since starting her website where she offers a treatment plan and advice for those affected by bipolar disorder, Julie has written three traditionally published books on the topic of mood disorders:

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