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Got Bipolar 2? Chris Aiken Can Help

If you want to know best practices for treating bipolar, "bipolar not so much," recurrent depression, "more than depression," "something-about-this-depression-treatment-just-isn't-working," read  Chris Aiken.

When I needed a subtitle for my book, I tried really hard to sell my publisher on What if it's more than depression? - a subtle reference to Bipolar Not So Much by Aiken and Jim Phelps, who is another of my mental health go-to resources. I flatter myself that Prozac Monologues is the companion piece, written from the other side of the prescription pad. The publisher had something else in mind, but if you find one book useful, you will like the other.

When my new nurse practitioner talked me into a chart review by the cookie cutter psychiatrist employed by the practice, the recommendation came back, Abilify and Zoloft. I said, No thanks, and sent her an article by Aiken. I hope it helps my NP get over her Free-Range Bipolar on Aisle 2 (i.e., non-medicated) panic before my next appointment. Aiken reports that Social Rhythms Therapy (my lifeline for years) can be as effective as medication, without the sedating effects that would have ended my writing career. Not to mention most other reasons to get up in the morning. Or even capacity to get up in the morning.

My third of this Chris Aiken sampling is a podcast, How to talk to patients about Bipolar Disorder. It is addressed to doctors, which makes sense because it is posted on Psychiatric Times, an online journal for mental health professionals. But since it is about "how to talk...," it includes that talk, maybe the one you got when you got your diagnosis, maybe the one you wish you had gotten.

Aiken hangs out at the Mood Treatment Center, his home base in North Carolina, and The Carlat Report, an online psychiatric journal that does not accept revenue from Big Pharma. He also edits the bipolar section of Psychiatric Times. Isn't that a nice fresh young face? He is where bipolar treatment and understanding is going.

book jacket and author photo from Amazon.com
piano cartoon from Microsoft clipart

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