Five Good Books I Recommend for World Bipolar Day

Knowledge is the key to taming this beast we call bipolar disorder. The more you know about what is happening inside that beautiful brain of yours, the better you can avoid letting it bite you in the butt.

Alas, many people with bipolar think their doctors will tell them what they need to know. Most of the psychiatrists I have seen gave me an abbreviated (and sometimes disingenuous) description for potential side effects of the pills they prescribed. And that's it.

How do I actually live with this beast? Take my meds. What will it mean for my life? Not so much as a pamphlet.

Psychoeducation for bipolar disorder has been shown to reduce recurrence of depressive, manic, and mixed episodes, all three, and to reduce hospitalization, as well. It includes information about the biological roots of the disorder, the rationale for medication, other treatment options, early warning signs of episodes, and common triggers. It aims to improve adherence to treatment plans. It usually is offered in a group setting.

It isn't offered often.

NAMI's Peer to Peer course gives a bit of this information. It crams in a lot of material for a lot of mental illnesses. It's a start.

To live well with bipolar, do your own study. There is a lot of information out there. And there are a lot of people who can help you find it.

Including me!

Here is a sampling to get you started:

So there are five of my top picks. You'll find other lists of great books at International Bipolar Foundation, MoodSurfing, and The Calculating Mind by Anja BurĨak.

Do you have a book to recommend? Leave a comment, so I can learn some more.

Knowledge is power. So power up!

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