Bipolar disorder is a serious condition that can be debilitating and have serious effects on those who struggle with it. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help those struggling with this mental illness.
Whether you have recently got a bipolar disorder diagnosis, experienced a struggle with this condition for a long time, or simply know someone with this mental illness, here’s a list of bipolar disorder books that you need to read.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health condition that features extreme mood swings. These mood swings are more intense than the typical ups and downs everyone experiences in life. People with bipolar disorder experience episodes of mania or hypomania (hyper moods) and depression.
While the exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, it is thought of as a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some of the possible risk factors include having a family history of bipolar disorder, experiencing stressful life events, certain variations in brain chemistry, and substance abuse.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), around 4.4% of U.S. adults are likely to experience bipolar disorder at some point in their lives. Amongst adolescents aged 13-18, around 2.9% had a bipolar disorder, with this prevalence higher amongst females.
What Are the Different Types of Bipolar Disorder?
It is important to understand that there are several different forms of bipolar disorder that a person can struggle with, each with its own unique characteristics and symptoms. The most common forms of this condition are:
- Bipolar I disorder: This is the most severe form of bipolar disorder and features at least one manic episode lasting longer than a week, causing abnormally high mood, energy, and activity. This can also include depressive episodes, although these are not necessary for a diagnosis.
- Bipolar II disorder: This type of bipolar disorder features at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode – a milder form of mania – lasting at least four days.
- Cyclothymic disorder: This is a chronic form of bipolar disorder that features numerous episodes of hypomania and mild depression over a period of at least two years. While not as severe as those of bipolar I or II disorder, cyclothymia symptoms can still cause significant distress and impair daily functioning.
It is important to understand that there are several other variations of this condition that can occur, which is why it is important to understand what bipolar symptoms look like and how to manage them.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder can be a severe and debilitating disease, hurting not just those with this condition but the people around them as well. Understanding what signs and symptoms to look out for can help you or a loved one seek treatment.
Some of the most common symptoms of bipolar disorder include:
- Mania: This manifests itself through feeling unusually energetic or euphoric, higher activity levels (often to the point of being restless or irritable), racing thoughts, talkativeness, difficulty concentrating, sleeplessness, grandiose ideas or beliefs, and engaging in risky behavior, such as impulsive spending or gambling.
- Hypomania: While less severe than mania, this can still cause an anxious mood and higher energy levels, as well as serve as a precursor to a manic episode if left alone.
- Depression: Feeling sad or hopeless, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, changes in appetite or sleep, fatigue or low energy, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, feeling guilty or worthless, and thoughts of death or suicide.
Because of how intense these symptoms can be, it is important to know how to recognize them so that you can seek professional help as soon as possible. With the right support and treatment, bipolar disorder is a manageable condition.
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Bipolar Disorder Books to Read
There are several books for bipolar disorder that can help those who are struggling with this condition and their loved ones better understand their symptoms and cope with them. Some of our top picks for books about bipolar disorder include:
- The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know Third Edition by David J. Miklowitz: This book offers a comprehensive guide for individuals struggling with bipolar disorder and their families on how to manage their condition and overcome the challenges it can bring.
- An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.: This book offers a direct look into the mind and experiences of someone who has lived with bipolar disorder, providing a raw and honest account of the challenges they have faced with their diagnosis.
- Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner by Julie A. Fast and John D. Preston: This book explores what it is like to love someone with bipolar disorder and how to maintain a healthy, positive relationship amongst the challenges this disease can present.
- The Up and Down Life: The Truth About Bipolar Disorder–the Good, the Bad, and the Funny by Paul E. Jones: This book offers a humorous and more positive approach to coping with bipolar disorder while still providing clinical resources and guidance.
Although these are just a few of the many books available to help those struggling with bipolar disorder, each of these offers its own unique and rich insight into what this condition is like and how it can be managed.
How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated?
Although bipolar disorder can be a serious and difficult-to-manage condition, there are many effective treatments available to manage people’s symptoms and improve their quality of life. While your specific treatment plan for bipolar disorder will be unique to your needs, this will generally include:
- Medications: Mood stabilizers such as lithium, lamotrigine, and others can help regulate mood swings by stabilizing brain chemistry. Antipsychotics and antidepressants may also be used in combination with mood stabilizers to help manage manic and depressive episodes.
- Psychotherapy: Therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Individual and family-focused therapy, as well as holistic therapies, can help you better understand your condition, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and repair relationships damaged by your bipolar disorder.
- Lifestyle management: Making lifestyle changes such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, practicing a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and finding ways to manage your stress, such as yoga, meditation, or joining support groups, can all help to manage the symptoms of your bipolar disorder.
It’s important to remember that treatment is individualized, and what works for one person may not work for another. A doctor or mental health professional can help develop a treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and symptoms.
Bipolar Disorder Treatment at RLC
Royal Life Centers offers a comprehensive and holistic treatment approach to those struggling with a variety of behavioral health issues, including bipolar disorder. We provide a full continuum of care, from detox to aftercare, to make sure every aspect of your condition is being properly addressed and treated.
Struggling with bipolar disorder can be a lonely and difficult experience, but it does not have to stay this way. Reach out to us today to learn more about how our comprehensive therapies and treatment options can help you.
If you are ready to start your recovery, we are here to help every step of the way. Reach out to us by calling 866-960-7593 to learn more about how our program can help you. Our admissions team is available 24/7 to help you begin your path to recovery today!