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u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/bipolar

Finding a good psychologist

This section is based on my own opinions and research. You want a psychologist. Not a therapist, not a counselor, not a psychiatrist who also counsels people, not a social worker, not someone with a masters degree. If you have questions about a serious mental disorder you need an expert. Look for someone with a PhD or PsyD. More experience is better. You want someone who has a history of treating mood disorders and knows a lot about bipolar.

A psychiatrist is not ideal at the diagnosis stage because they're not the right kind of specialist. A psychologist takes over half a decade of psychology classes and possibly contributes original research on the subject. They're not medical doctors, which is why they generally don't write prescriptions. They are very familiar with the right drugs, they just don't know all the mechanics of what the pills will do to you, interact with your other health conditions, etc.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has had some psychology training. A psychiatrist knows the human body inside and out and is therefore qualified to give you medication. They are especially familiar with brain disorders and medication for those disorders. They may or may not be good counselors, but this pretty much varies with their natural, personal abilities. Although some are really good at it, it's not their training, so don't expect it.

Effective talk-therapy treatments for bipolar

Ideally, you want someone who knows at least some of the following techniques :

  • MBCT (Mindfulness based cognitive therapy)

    I have heard anecdotal evidence, and myself had good experiences with MBCT. It basically teaches you to self soothe through meditation and changing how you respond to your thoughts. A mindfulness program will show results at least as good as antidepressants in about 8 weeks, but you might feel better sooner. Here's a good book.

  • DBT (Dialectical behavior therapy)

    DBT was originally developed for people with borderline personality disorder. It has since been found that it helps people with all sorts of strong emotions and impulses, like bipolar and OCD.

  • CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)

    This is an older therapy, but it's very common. CBT teaches you to recognize and challenge negative thoughts about yourself. In time, you will feel better about yourself because the negative thoughts will stop. It's at least as good as antidepressants, and unlike antidepressants, keeps working for a long time after you stop actively doing it.

    My psychologist recommended this book:

    The first chapter of the book details its clinical effectiveness, if you're interested. The paper-based homework parts of the book are very annoying. My psychologist recommended the app CBT Pad, which I can use on my phone and is a lot more convenient. Anything similar is probably fine.

  • IPSRT (Interpersonal Social Rhythm Therapy)

    This one is the big one. It's clinically proven to reduce the amount of medication you need. IPSRT is a very new technique, so it may be hard to find someone who knows this techinque. If your options are limited, find someone who knows IPT (an older therapy which this is based off of) and ask them to learn about IPSRT. If they won't, find someone who will. :) This will teach you more about how to regulate your schedule and sleep cycle, recognize your triggers, recognize an episode as it starts, and reduce the impact of the episode. There are a lot of studies about its effectiveness. Here are two of my favorites:

    If you absolutely cannot find someone who will help you with this, settle for IPT (interpersonal therapy) as it's also proven to be at least helpful with bipolar. Get the paper version of this book, not the electronic one, as you're supposed to write on it.

    Mood charting

    Data is your friend. Daily charting is kind of a pain in the ass, but it more than makes up for the hassle in what it teaches you. Taking five minutes a day to enter a few data points will over time give you data about your triggers. A lot of it may surprise you. I like the app Optimism. There is a web-based version at if you don't have an iphone.


    Other people try but they don't get it. They accidentally (or purposely) push your buttons, tell you to snap the fuck out of it, etc. These things are infuriating. But we get it, so come here when you need help. We understand and we're here if you need to talk over a problem or just bitch. We're also good for questions, because being diagnosed as bipolar essentially means that you'll have to become an expert on the disease one way or another.

    If you need in-person support in the US, try NAMI. Even in medium sized cities there are multiple support groups daily. Go to and type in your ZIP code.

    Now go forth and be happy :)

    So, after all that, and some time, and the right combination of talk/meds/vitamins/hugs, you should be feeling pretty good. I plan to update this post from time to time with what I learn. (I have an envelope of stuff from the Clinic with literally about 5 packets in it that I haven't read yet. It weighs at least half a pound.)

    In the meantime, please feel free to post questions, comments, corrections, etc. Hope all this helps someone!
u/Kummedian · 2 pointsr/bipolar

You said it, I "made it through." I didn't thrive, I didn't leave with any real job prospects, and only remember instances of my experience. I ruined relationships, had breakdowns, switched majors a bunch of times, and dropped a whole semester. I had the courage to seek medical guidance, but the topic of bipolar never came up. I had quick fixes; taking adderall to get through the academics and ambien to knock me out of the mania at night. In hindsight, I didn't know any better and this couldn't be any more unhealthy. Thankfully, I also exercised and ate well. For a while I even had an off campus job that held me accountable. Still, I partook in self medication (drugs and alcohol) by telling myself I was just experimenting even though it always set me back. I drove my parents up the wall so much so my mother would show up unexpectedly whenever things got real bad.

I wore a mask about my problems. I was the funny guy in my fraternity. I let my antics become a part of my identity. I made decent grades (3.4 gpa) and also had two minors. However, there were many days when I would meander around campus aimlessly not quite knowing what the hell I was doing. Life could have been better. The key is focus, which is almost impossible for any length of time when dealing with untreated bipolar. Looking back, I see my college experience as positive.That's the only way to make any sense of anything is seeing the positive. It was an insular place that serves not just academics, but in social affairs without ruining your reputation before getting to the 'real world'. Would I want to do it again? Probably not and I would more likely skip college altogether, at least right out of high school, but that's a different topic.

Unfortunately, I was not properly diagnosed until about 4 years later. I switched jobs, had to live at home for a bit, sold everything by attempting to live off a motorcycle and was hospitalized twice; once by baker act, the other for extreme mania. Now that I'm level, life is much better. I got a job that brought me to an awesome city, have a gf, nice apartment, and am always looking for healthy ways to expand my horizons. I go to a bi-weekly support group, something I highly recommend. The earlier you are diagnosed and treated properly, the better off you are, so consider yourself lucky. The key is self-awareness, that you have to accept it. If not your problems will become exacerbated. Surround yourself with positive people, eat well/exercise and learn as much as you can about bipolar. There are more resources that you think. I recommend starting with this book and watch this documentary by UK celebrity Stephen Fry Godspeed!

u/PunkRockMaestro · 5 pointsr/bipolar

One thing that is not communicated well enough is that BP leans to serious cognitive dysfunction at work and in social life. Hope is not lost, cognitive remediation has been shown to lead to improvements. That is, cognitive exercise and practice and focus on developing certain skills leads to increased outcomes.

Basically the stress of episodes is neurotoxic for the brain, a lot of what you are experiencing is because of the brain adapting to all of this stress the best it can which is bad or unhelpful long term. A lot of this brain training remediation is just computer challenges, and they set up life situations for you to navigate, but basically you just have to keep trying to acclimatize yourself to the world and get good feedback and you can get better and better.

I would say take the position, make sure in the first few months you take extra care to take care of yourself and get good sleep etc, work through issues systematically, and it can be good for you. You can learn to think about things differently, and your brain can change so that you're less taxed. You definitely can't just keep coping how you are coping and do more, your brain needs to change, but with the stress state, cortisol, neuroplasticity isn't going to be easy, so you have to go at it from all angles, be willing to try new things.

Good luck!

u/adorabledork · 3 pointsr/bipolar

BP 2, here. Is your gf on any kind of medication? Honestly, it doesn't sound like it, or if she is, she needs a higher dose.

There is a TON of info about bipolar disorder, and a large amount of information for loved ones who have a family member with bp. You just gotta look a bit harder.

Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder
The Bipolar Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know.

These are both great books. I can attest for the latter, especially. It has helped my mother and sister understand me a bit more.

Also, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness is truly an amazing book. It was the first time I felt like there were other people who got it, who understood. I highly recommend it for both you and your girlfriend. I wish I could emphasize just how much I recommend that book. It is really wonderful.

Most of all, your girlfriend needs to take a bit of responsibility for what is going on with her. Medicine and therapy.

Bipolar disorder is not something that goes away. But it is manageable. It took me almost 10 years to get my meds right, and find a place where I am improving - but you know what? I AM improving. Every day is a fight. But it is a fight worth winning.

I wish you all the luck. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

Edit: After re-reading your post, I question if maybe you aren't spending too much time with your friend. I get he needs support, but you can't be his crutch. I could definitely understand if you're girlfriend is feeling a bit of resentment.

u/lostinstl · 2 pointsr/bipolar

True, it's different for everyone, but don't be afraid to ask. I was 32 before I finally got diagnosed. But finally having a name for it was a huge help. It took some time to finally find the combination of meds that worked for me.

Some things that have helped me along the way:
Keep track of your moods, and note things that changes your moods
Stay away from alcohol, it can destabilize you
Watch your diet, foods have a big impact on how you feel
Find a doctor that you are comfortable with. Being able to communicate will make a huge difference in your treatment.
Even if you are feeling better, don't stop your medication.
Stay active. Sometimes this is hard, but in my case the busier I am, the better I feel.
*Don't be afraid to ask for help, we can all use it sometimes

There are a ton of resources, here are a couple to get you started:

An unquite mind

u/jellybean_11 · 1 pointr/bipolar

How old is your daughter? I know of a few books that might be able to help.

  1. The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide.

  2. If Your Child Is Bipolar

  3. Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder (this one is geared towards romantic partners, but I've heard decent things about it... might be worth a shot)

  4. The Bipolar Teen

    Have you considered counselling? Often, the people supporting the person with bipolar need support just as much as the person with bipolar does. There are also support groups that exist for family members and loved ones.

    Good luck!
u/Jin_the_Wanderer · 3 pointsr/bipolar

There's a lot of literature available these days;

  • An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison

  • The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, Second Edition: What You and Your Family Need to Know by David J. Miklowitz

  • Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir by Ellen Forney

    These three come to mind, the most frequently recommended ones. I've read the first one and it explains a lot of how someone who suffers from BP I (or manic-depressive illness) leads his or her life.

    Other than that, reading about other People's Experience that have lived and live with this illness may prove helpful as well. You can find a lot of very useful insight into what bipolar disorder really implies in this subrredit.

    Finally, above all, take your time to listen to her, truly do, and do your best to understand what is going through her mind. We experience very complicated feelings and emotions, incredibly extreme at times, so be aware of that. This doesn't mean we are crazy though, it only means we are more "sensitive", if you will, which means being understanding, compassionate, loving and caring play a huge role in a relationship.

    You'll catch the drift quickly enough, trust me, and then it'll be just like any other relationship, with the possible hiccup here and there.

    Few people care to understand this illness, glad you're doing so. An example to follow, if I may.

u/dinkypickles · 1 pointr/bipolar

I just logged back into my account, so I'm just now seeing this. Take the tools that work, ditch the ones that don't. Plenty of inventions were intended for one thing and work across a multitude of problems. DBT is really good me, and I'm interested in CBT as well - I've heard really good things about it. Here's an awesome DBT workbook that isn't that expensive. Also, if you google "free dbt" there look to be a bunch of good free workbooks, websites, etc.

Hang in there, you'll figure it all out. :)

u/advintaged · 4 pointsr/bipolar

I'm in the same place right now, so I figured if I can look outside myself for a minute and and focus on something to help you, I might feel better.

  • Search "positive affirmations" in YouTube ( I like Honest Guys and Jason Stephenson)
  • Use an essential oils diffuser or candle for aromatherapy
  • I use light therapy every morning with natural sunlight or
    Nature Light Therapy Box
  • Pet your dog (or get one to pet)
  • Read about alternative methods such as Kratom or CBD oil. (Tell your pdoc about any supplements or herbal treatments you use.)
  • Color or doodle/ bullet journal (Search Pinterest for ideas)
  • Get outside of your head for a minute and see if you can help someone else.

    [There now...I do feel better]
u/Brocktreee · 8 pointsr/bipolar

An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison

The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide by Stephen Miklowitz PhD.

DBT Therapy for Bipolar Disorder

These are my three go-to recommendations. An Unquiet Mind is written from the perspective of someone with BP1 with psychotic features, who is also a professional psychologist and has studied BD for a very long time.

The BD Survival Guide was the first book I read on the subject after my diagnosis. It grounded me, it informed me about the disease and all the ways it can manifest, gave me an idea about the buildup and duration of episodes, as well as providing several enlightening vignettes throughout the text to illustrate points and concepts. 10/10, I consider this mandatory reading for the newly diagnosed or underinformed.

The DBT therapy workbook--truth be told I haven't done much work with it yet, but DBT is regularly touted as one of the most effective treatments for bipolar. So I thought I'd include that.

Best of luck!

u/TheAccountForThatSub · 1 pointr/bipolar

Oh, and here is a reference for the cognitive distortions:

The doctor who wrote this is the one who introduced these types of cognitive distortions, I think.

I've only read the first 3 chapters of it, took the small diagnostic quizzes and such, but they've helped a lot, really.

I only had an ebook for it, though, so maybe you can find a copy online.

Feel free to take it slow. My brain fog back then was so bad I couldn't take in more than 2 paragraphs without spacing out. There are also tests to help you remember some of the things talked about (useful, because being able to identify when your thoughts are tinted with cognitive distortions is a good way to combat them and start to improve your thinking patterns.)

I was only doing 2 pages a day when I read it, so really, if you're feeling like shit and can't think, it's okay to take it at an easy pace.

u/only1mrfstr · 1 pointr/bipolar

fellow SO here... may want to give the book Loving someone with Bipolar a read. I haven't yet but I've heard good things.

May want to look into NAMI (if in US) for support groups for both you and your SO. I've attended regularly and they have been a big help

also, join us over at /r/bipolarSOs

u/beast-freak · 1 pointr/bipolar

Zero caffeine, zero alcohol, heathy diet, exercise, sleep hygiene, a loving relationship, plus (in my case) meditation. - but I am far from following my own advice at present. : (

As far as books go:

[Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania] ( by Andy Behrman

[Madness: A Bipolar Life] ( by Marya Hornbacher

I binged out self-help books about ten years ago. I was trying to outrun the disease at the time.

The most helpful thing I found was having a job I enjoyed, This beat anything else including years of talk therapy (which didn't really work with my condition)

Everyone is different, what speaks to one person is irrelevant to another. I quite like the Desiderata

u/grumblecakes1 · 3 pointsr/bipolar

There are some pretty good documentary on youtube. Maybe find one that mirrors your situation and have him watch it. All the top rated autobiographies on bipolar amazon are great too. This one in particular would be good in your situation

u/theskyflashes · 3 pointsr/bipolar

Even though you're feeling like shit you're willing to reach out to others who can relate and I think that bodes really well for you feeling better. There are a lot of great comments here already and it's a testament to the fact that your post is very honest and relatable. The main point being it really sucks to be bipolar and I couldn't agree more. However, there are potentially good side effects.
There is a popular belief that bipolar people can be especially creative with the combo of mania and tremendous insight into the human condition. You may be interested to read the book [Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament] (
Go easy on yourself, you didn't ask to feel shitty on your birthday and the awful feeling will pass. :-)

u/LurkingRaeven · 4 pointsr/bipolar

I recommend The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide. It's a great book for both of you to go through together. It help my husband understand me a little better and gave him ways to help me more.

There's also this site that has a lot of articles on it and they are really helpful and informative.

u/natatreee · 2 pointsr/bipolar

Welcome to the Jungle by Hillary Smith. Highly highly recommend. Made me feel comforted, informed, as well as made me laugh when I first got diagnosed.

u/justanotherskullkid · 1 pointr/bipolar

Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder, Second Edition: Understanding and Helping Your Partner (New Harbinger Loving Someone Series)

I just ordered this one for my husband. It has some good reviews so I’m hoping it will help him out!

u/bipolar_batman · 2 pointsr/bipolar

I know I am late to the party here, but Marbles is excellent. Also as a graphic novel it is really accessible as well. Not as heavy a read as many of the other (excellent) suggestions here.

u/GoodAtExplaining · 1 pointr/bipolar

Hey there!

Above all else, I really recommend getting The Bipolar Survival Guide

It will help you and your husband figure out how to handle it, what the effects are, and what it means for him. I'm in the process of reading it, and for those with the disorder as well as those around them, it reveals a lot about the dynamics of bipolar that people don't think of.

Start from there. It contains a really handy mood charting guide - Basically, every day you chart your mood from one to ten, and you can even choose to do it by hour. At the end of the day, you write a couple of sentences on what you did that day and how you feel as a result, and over the course of weeks you can establish a baseline of mood, and how changes can effect it. That helps identify triggers as well as techniques that can help the person deal with swings in mood or emotion.

u/lichlord · 2 pointsr/bipolar

I read this book a couple years ago to better understand a friend. One specific bit of advice I liked was keeping a mood journal with your boyfriend. My friend discovered that November was an especially tough month for her. It has some other strategies as well.

u/ANormalSpudBoy · 1 pointr/bipolar

I quite enjoyed this graphic novel/autobiography. It was both entertaining and informative; even taught me the best way to swallow my pills!

u/Untouchable-joy · 3 pointsr/bipolar

Changing thought and behavioral patterns are actually what CBT and DBT therapy were created for. If you don’t want to see a therapist to help you, there’s lots of work books you can do on your own.
It’s proven very effective, it’s actually the most commonly used therapy (though part of that is it’s also quick.)
It’s helped both myself with PTSD/bipolar/social anxiety and my mother who had BPD.
Disclaimer: it’s not fun or easy, but it’s easier than trying to change on your own.
Here’s a really good DBT workbook.

u/syluocs · 2 pointsr/bipolar

Just bought this one today: The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew McKay

Trying to learn how to manage my emotions and have been recommended DBT. Also ordered An Unquiet Mind today as well. Another few reads: 'Madness: A Bipolar Life' by Marya Hornbacher, 'Detour' by Lizzie Simon, 'Manic' by Terri Cheney, and 'The Dark Side of Innocence' by her as well.
Happy reading!

u/epsilongo · 1 pointr/bipolar

I'm not a dr but maybe they meant the combo is not used? I am on lithium and I had thought it was still one of the most research-backed meds for treating BPD (when effective). Lithium was recommended to me 2 years ago by a couple psychiatrists I trust as being the "gold standard" (their phrase not mine). Also, this book as a good chapter on meds. Not sure how up to date it is though:

u/blazingwildbill · 2 pointsr/bipolar

I cannot comment on 'The Bipolar Workbook' but "The Bipolar Survival Guide " has been a lifesaver! It is very well written and oraganized.

u/kaliena · 3 pointsr/bipolar

I'm fond of these titles:
Bipolar Disorder Demystified from 2003, I still have my copy. It's cheap on Amazon. I sat down with all the books at a local book store and this is the one that was approachable to me, when I first got diagnosed.

Loving Someone with Bipolar is a great book as well, for your partner or family. Be aware, that the book is not going to pull punches, and flat out does tell people that sometimes, in order to financially or emotionally survive and do well, you have to leave people with mental disorders. It encourages people to help, but not to devote their every waking moment to caring for their mood disorder partner.

u/monaturtle · 1 pointr/bipolar

My Husband was diagnosed with bipolar type 2 earlier this year.

I'm still working through it, but I have found this book helpful.

Good Luck!

u/redditabc · 1 pointr/bipolar

It is possible. One thing I would recommend is to start out by reading books written for people with bipolar actually before doing like a google search. Books like that seem to have a "you can do this" attitude and can give you a good foundation of understanding in a slightly separated way. (Recommendation: A lot of what's online is a snapshot of someone desperately searching for help in their most troubling moments, with little follow-up on how the issue was resolved, so I think there's more room for potential triggering. Obviously I find this forum very helpful, but if you are in a very fragile state, you might want to post your own problems and not read others, then use it to relate to others and pay it forward when you are in a more stable place. I do think it's good to talk things out, but you have to be very careful to only talk to people who are supportive and understanding about mental illness.

u/tyinsf · 1 pointr/bipolar

Here's Dr. Phelp's overview of RDoC, with an interesting chart on how much psychiatrists agree and diverge on diagnoses. His whole website is an awesome resource.

Look, if the treatment is the same it's kind of an academic argument about which category you fall into, like whether bipolar and borderline are two different things. It can be critical if the treatments are different, and if one tx is harmful in the other condition, like whether you are unipolar or bipolar.

My late father was a psychiatrist starting in the late 1950s. Can you imagine trying to treat manic depressives, as we were known then, without lithium, which wasn't approved in the US until 1970? And before bp-ii or the bipolar spectrum had even been thought about? Looking back, things have gotten a lot better for us.

So things aren't perfect but they're a lot better than they were. We have very limited understanding about how meds work but they're tested in clinical trials and they often do. It just takes a lot of trial and error to find the ones that work best for you.

You might want to read the bible of bipolar, Goodwin and Jamison's Manic Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression. The history of the diagnosis might interest you.

TL;DR You know your brain is sick. You know you should take your meds. You're just going to have to try a bunch until you find what works for you and accept that in another 40 years what we do now will seem barbaric.

u/between2poles · 1 pointr/bipolar

I've found this book incredibly helpful. It includes instructions on creating a plan when you or your friends and family recognize escalation. I'm new to this whole thing and am grateful I got myself a copy.

Edit. Personally I've had to stay away from drugs and alcohol and found that a regular exercise routine stabilizes me and lessens the depression (unless of course it's really bad). I got me some kettlebells and do the workouts at at home.

u/theaveragedream · 2 pointsr/bipolar

If you want to hear a more anecdotal story about a life of a successful bipolar person with her fair share of psychosis and depression, I read this super quickly and I had been having a hard time reading: An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

This book is about a journey through anxiety. The author is young and she was actually inspired by the author of the book above. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety

If you want to read stories about great leaders who suffered through mental illness, including bipolar, along with the argument that those experiences made them the dynamic people they were with special abilities to be empathetic and reach people in ways others couldn’t, A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness.

I bought this Bipolar Workbook but haven’t had the discipline to do it yet.

u/amamcb · 2 pointsr/bipolar

I really recommend this graphic novel:

Really puts everything into perfect perspective for us.

u/meevis_kahuna · 1 pointr/bipolar

I highly recommend "The Bipolar Suvival Guide"

Understanding bipolar is a long process and should be treated as an ongoing education, not a quick fix. I recommend you and your loved one read through this.

u/Ehmanda · 10 pointsr/bipolar

After I was diagnosed, An Unquiet Mind helped me tremendously in giving me perspective. Being able to intimately read other people's experiences helped ground me for a while. Wholly recommended. :-)

u/kokobolo · 1 pointr/bipolar

No not a tanning lamp.

This is the one I had:

NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp

If you've never been manic I wouldn't worry too much about it. Even if you do become a bit hypo you can always just turn off the lamp and wait for it to go away. Just be aware of how your mood is. Good luck !

u/mbprivate · 1 pointr/bipolar

I recently read Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney which I really enjoyed. She is a cartoonist and wrote a graphic novel depicting her struggle to accept her diagnosis at age 30 even though bipolar disorder was clearly affecting her life. I liked it a lot because it was funny and really focused on her thought process which was interesting, though it is aimed a broader audience so there is a lot of introductory stuff that someone with the disorder would already know.

Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression is also quite good. It's a collection of something like 25 essays about depression/bipolar disorder. They didn't all click with me, but the ones that did hit really hard and I keep going back to them. I also like that there is a variety of perspectives. It is mostly written by people with mental illnesses, but there are a couple of times where you finish one essay and the next one is written by that person's husband or sister. Another example, they have the story of a woman who decided to continue her medication through pregnancy and one who stopped, and both have the opportunity to explain their decision and the consequences.

u/emmabug · 1 pointr/bipolar

This book is amazing. My mom bought it for me when I was first diagnosed. It helped me understand my disorder, and helped my mom (she bought herself a copy, too) understand how to help me.
The author is hilary Smith.

Amazon link:

u/keaty789 · 2 pointsr/bipolar

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

This book had been incredible for me (BP2) and my wife. Has good info, steps to take, things to remember, descriptions of medications... This has helped a great deal

u/_MadScientistThe_ · 2 pointsr/bipolar

I'm in the same boat pretty much. Just recently diagnosed as BP2 right after my 21st, and the way i've been handling it is learning as much as I can about my disorder. I would encourage you to look into An Unquiet Mind by - Kay Redfield Jamison. Also meditation and mindfulness really helps me and so does kicking caffeine it triggers severe mood swings for me.

Link to book on amazon

u/SiCoSa · 3 pointsr/bipolar

If you wanna start now you can order this book that is amazing and the one my group used.

u/jkell05s · 1 pointr/bipolar

In my own way, I'll become fixated on an idea or concept - maybe its for a book, or for a website, and I'll write all these notes and stay up late outlining for a project I'll never complete. Recently it was for a podcast with a friend, I walk around brainstorming names and catch lines and what we would cover in the first 10-15 episodes, even though I've never podcasted in my life.

In my unprofessional view, your lack of need for sleep, energy/irritability, outgoing/bubbly personality, and "delusions" of what you can accomplish are what truly throw this into the manic category. The "what" of the studying may change next time, but when you start catching yourself with the other symptons, time to call the Doctor or work on your prevention of cycling up too hard. I recommend the BiPolar Survivor's Guide:

u/ericineducation · 1 pointr/bipolar

I have to agree with how other redditors have responded so far.

I just wanted to add that heredity is a strong indicator. The risk of developing the disorder is more than 5x likely for people who have a family history. The symptoms also intensify as you get older, which is why it can be hard to say for sure until you reach around 25 years of age. sauce

That was my experience. I uncovered my family history in college, learned all I could about the condition, and when I began experiencing cyclothymia that interfered with my life I sought treatment.

u/outinthestix · 2 pointsr/bipolar

There's a twenty one week group thing called "Functional Remediation" that is (I think) still in trials.

In the meantime, give your profession a chance.

There's also this at Amazon from 2014 for whatever it's worth:
Functional Remediation for Bipolar Disorder

u/Soakitincider · 1 pointr/bipolar

Sometimes its really hard to do what you need to do in a down swing. Stuff like Eating right, and getting exercise are very difficult but if you can do these things it will help you. Looking up healthy coping mechanisms will help you when negative nancy comes into play. I call him mr poopy pants. Understanding your negative inner voice and shutting it down helps. "Everyone hates me!" is simply not true. But for some reason our minds go there and other bad places in a down swing. Recognise them and shut them off with logic.

This workbook explains that stuff WAY better than I can. Give it a look and it will help you out a lot.

u/tralfaz66 · 1 pointr/bipolar

Script fo what pills? And where are you. Makes a big diff in the help available.

Suggest you read a book on bipolar describing it, causes, symptoms, etc.

u/FacebookFelon · 1 pointr/bipolar

I’d communicate right now and clearly your perspective here. If he gaslights you or acts passive aggressive that’s a huge sign. I hate to say this but we tend to attract/be attracted to people who can hurt us. I also recommend Julie Fast’s book.

u/I_am_God_really_I_am · 1 pointr/bipolar

How much and how long have you been on Lamictal? I'm assuming you've had a go-around with lithium. In all the research I've done over the past several weeks I've never seen where any of this is un-treatable. I'm a bit pissed at your doctor for saying that to you. I've also read that giving anti-depressants can actually trigger a manic/mixed state. Wondering if you need a new doc.

This book, it helped me understand: [Why am I still depressed?}( I burned through it in 2 days...not a big book, but helpful. Not sure if you're up for reading right now but it explains the meds.

u/al_b69 · 2 pointsr/bipolar

Been married to bipolar SO for 18 years, from personal experience, marriage counselling and therapy isn't effective when mood swings from one extreme to another. First treat the disease, only then you can work on the marriage.

I like reading books and it helps take mind off stressful situation & gain some insights into this disease. The books can be a baseline when talking to therapist because they will say similar things. If they suggest otherwise, find a new therapist.

  • I Am Not Sick I Don't Need Help! - Xavier F Amador Ph.D.
  • Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder - John D. Preston, PsyD
  • The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, Second Edition - David J. Miklowitz, PhD

    Sidenote: a bad therapist will keep taking your money despite NOT knowing how to treat bipolar patients. Ask them what books is recommended and if they say something like 'I look it up for you', 'therapy is more effective' or start searching google. DO NOT return to them.

    Local NAMI group might help too. The disease has a pattern and you can learn from what others went through. Love the person, hate the illness. Above all, try to stay sane and objective during those bumpy rides. Hang in there!

    Disclaimer: Separated from bipolar SO after her infidelity (unprotected sex too). Symptoms getting worse but she refuse to see pdoc to adjust meds, even when family doctor booked an appointment for her.
u/spinspin__sugar · 1 pointr/bipolar

Kay Redfield Jamison's memoir is a must read! She writes beautifully and holds a PhD in psychology, so she has a unique perspective on the illness being on both sides of the fence so to speak.

u/RebelTactics · 1 pointr/bipolar

You know, that's the second book in the last two hours that someone has recommended that I'd like to read but can't afford. Is there some kind of book bit torrent I can find these at? The other one is this.

u/FertilityHotel · 2 pointsr/bipolar

Same. I just live in tunnel vision half the time and need in my face reminders that things can change and I do have some control over my life. Is it this book?

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & ... (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)

u/sparklekitteh · 4 pointsr/bipolar

This is a really good book for people who have a partner with bipolar. It has a different perspective than textbooks and articles with general information about the illness, and gives some more practical info about how to talk to us when we're "out of it" and such.

u/Nymeria9 · 5 pointsr/bipolar

Read "I'm not sick and I don't need help" by Xavier Amador. It really helped me learn to deal with a similar situation.

u/xIPyReX1028Ix · 1 pointr/bipolar

I read this book when I was first diagnosed with it back in August.

u/berenoor · 1 pointr/bipolar

How are you with reading about strategies? (Then doing them?)

^ If you haven't read this yet, you might give it a whirl.

u/csmoot · 1 pointr/bipolar

I bought this one and use it for 15 minutes each morning.

If you get one, whatever one you get, it needs to be about 12-18 inches away from your face and your eyes have to be open. I set it on my desk and do my morning reading while it's on.

u/chop_talk · 1 pointr/bipolar

I would recommend reading this book called : Into the Jungle.

It helped me learn a lot about my disorder.

u/Gwiz84 · 3 pointsr/bipolar

It's totally cool and you can rant as much as you want :)

I feel lucky, the third anti psychotic drug I tried worked really well for me. I function normally when I take it, the entire world isn't watching me anymore and my next door neighbours isn't trying making elaborate plots to ruin my life or kill me anymore.

You should read this book, really. I read it because of my interest in mental conditions after going through the worst years of my own psychological trials.

I hope everything works out for you, really do!

u/DecrepitBob · 3 pointsr/bipolar

Have you read An Unquiet Mind by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison yet? She is one of the most well known clinical psychologists and actually helped author the main medical reference books for the inner workings of the disorder. She is also a patient and still struggles with BP1. The book covers her discovery/diagnosis, reluctance to Lithium therapy, and some very well described manic episodes direct from the horse's mouth.

u/kelseyroundtherosie · 1 pointr/bipolar

You have a family history of mental illness and have exhibited symptoms of possible mental illness, so yeah you should be cognizant of your behavior and monitor yourself. I’d suggest mood charting and journaling so you can track any behavioral patterns, avoiding drugs and alcohol and seeking out professional help (therapy). You also say you have a history of intrusive thoughts so it’s important to be vigilant. If you ever feel like you may be a danger to yourself seek help sooner rather than later.

Are you bipolar? I can’t say really and no one on this sub would be able to with any degree of accuracy. What you can do is educate yourself and learn strategies to help cope with behaviors you’ve already identified as problematic, I think of it as stopping a possible snowball effect before it becomes unstoppable. This workbook covers strategies that help mood disorders, anxiety, OCD, etc. I think you’d find it very helpful.

u/lindygrey · 1 pointr/bipolar

You could totally do this at home but I suggest that you do it with your doctor's guidance. It can cause mania.

You just need a 10,000 lux light. I use this one. I use it for 10 minutes at noon only when I'm feeling depressed. Works within a week usually and if it doesn't I increase the time to 20 minutes. That's never failed me.

u/whitehouligan · 3 pointsr/bipolar

An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison
Not a guide for coping with bipolar, but a well-written memoir from a woman with the disorder. I found it to be relatable/helpful.

u/clacrone · 1 pointr/bipolar

My psychiatrist recommended this book for me, although I have yet to read it.


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

Amazon Link:

u/flounderingknitter · 2 pointsr/bipolar

BPD has the fear of abandonment and feeling of emptiness, and those can happen during a bipolar episode, but won’t persist during stability. Here is some info, but you want to check multiple sources before coming to a firm conclusion (or dig around here for a while):

My symptoms for bipolar I are pretty hallmark. I have delusions of grandeur, elevated mood, an emotionally intense and destructive, and suffer severe depression.

My partner has minimal symptoms. In fact, for years, when we weren’t dating yet, I was skeptical he even had bipolar. His moods are elevated occasionally, but much less so. He gets depression, but not as bad.

Symptoms vary, and the only way I’ve found to really learn about these symptoms is by reading this book:

Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families (2nd Edition)

Bipolar blends in. Not everyone has the same