Looking for a book to help you or a loved one better understand bipolar disorder (also called manic depression)? We recommend the following:

Madness: A Bipolar Life

By the author of the groundbreaking memoir Wasted about her struggle with eating disorders written nearly a decade ago, Marya Hornbacher is back. This time with a look at her struggle with bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) in her new book, Madness: A Bipolar Life. It is a lively biographical tale following the author’s life from age 4 to the present, and all of the stories that she believes related to her bipolar disorder. Read our full review here

Manic: A Memoir

While living a Jackie Collins-like lifestyle as a Beverley Hills entertainment lawyer to the stars, she endures ECT without anaesthetic (and bit half her tongue off), a brutal night in jail, two suicide attempts with dramatic rescues, a severe eating disorder, and a glamorous romance ended with the cruel statement, “I would marry you in a minute, if it wasn’t for the manic depression.” There’s much more, too. The first chapter comes on strong, reeling with an overabundance of intense action. Surely some is embellishment? Read our full review here

New Hope For People With Bipolar Disorder

New hope for people with bipolar disorder
Sometimes a book with multiple authors can be a train wreck. This is not one of those books, as each author brings a unique and valuable perspective to helping people understand bipolar disorder, a disorder that as it gains more press attention, also gains a lot more misconceptions. Read our full review here

An Unquiet Mind

An unquiet mind
In Touched with Fire, Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychiatrist, turned a mirror on the creativity so often associated with mental illness. In this book she turns that mirror on herself. With breathtaking honesty she tells of her own manic depression, the bitter costs of her illness, and its paradoxical benefits: “There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness and terror involved in this kind of madness…. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.” This is one of the best scientific autobiographies ever written, a combination of clarity, truth, and insight into human character. “We are all, as Byron put it, differently organized,” Jamison writes. “We each move within the restraints of our temperament and live up only partially to its possibilities.” Jamison’s ability to live fully within her limitations is an inspiration to her fellow mortals, whatever our particular burdens may be. Learn more at Amazon.com

Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families

Bipolar disorder guide
In this book for persons with bipolar disorder and their families, Dr. Frank Mondimore offers a comprehensive and compassionate guide to the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and causes of this potentially devastating psychiatric illness, formerly known as “manic-depression.” He offers practical advice for getting the most out of the various treatments that are now available – from medication, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive treatment to new approaches such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. For each, he discusses advantages, disadvantages, side effects, and other information to help patients make informed decisions about treatment options. He also describes what it is like to live with bipolar disorder and discusses how lifestyle changes can improve quality of life. Throughout, he focuses on the importance of building a support system, of planning for emergencies, and of giving one’s self permission to seek help. Learn more at Amazon.com

Living Without Depression and Manic Depression: A Workbook for Maintaining Mood Stability

Living without depression and manic depression workbook Those affected with depressive and manic depressive disorders can live fairly normal lives with proper treatment. But what about exercises and things a person can do to help themselves improve? This book provides self-help tips to supplement treatment programs, providing encouragement for self-advocacy and including recommendations for support and self-help therapy. From minimizing negative influences from the past to using peer counseling effectively, this workbook is packed with tips and exercises. As such, it is best recommended for someone who is interested in taking active involvement in their treatment and wants to do as much as possible to help themselves.

Learn more at Amazon.com