An essential resource for anyone who has a close relationship with a person who is bipolar
This book provides a much-needed resource for family and friends of the more than 5 million American adults suffering from bipolar disorder. From psychotic behavior that requires medication to milder mood swings with disturbing ups and down, this book offers a warm and often humorous user-friend guide for coping with bipolar loved ones, colleagues, and friends. The book includes
Guidance for identifying bipolar disorder symptoms and how to get the diagnosis confirmed Strategies for dealing with rants, attacks, blame, depression, mania and other behaviors Crucial information on medication and its effectiveness and potential side-effects Techniques for dealing with attempts to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol How many people with bipolar disorders can care for themselves, get help, feel supported and go on with their own lives
This important book contains real-life illustrative examples and a wealth of helpful strategies and coping mechanisms that can be put into action immediately.
In the experience of bipolar disorder specialist Cohen (director of Harvard University's McLean Psychiatric Hospital), treatment is always more effective "when a partner was involved" to provide ongoing support. Thus, he and science writer Lowe team up to produce a helpful source of support and information for that partner, who is sure to face his or her own problems coping and keeping up. The volume's first part provides useful information about the disease, which is estimated to afflict between five and ten million Americans and is characterized by extreme, polar opposite states of mood (encompassing, at times, both mania and suicidal depression) and a constellation of symptoms like sleeplessness, extreme irritability, hypersexuality, substance abuse, and delusions of grandeur or persecution. The second part describes the particular issues partners face when living with a bipolar sufferer, and includes approaches to communication and coping, workplace situations, intimacy, and the event of suicide threats or attempts. Throughout, Lowe and Cohen emphasize the importance of counseling for both patient and partner, and of soliciting support from all sources: relatives, friends, and even employers. This helpful, compassionate guide to making a "productive and loving life" despite an unpredictable disease is capped with excerpts from the DSM-IV-TR and a list or resources.