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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bradley R. Cutler, MD (Edward Hospital and Health Services)
Description: This is an update of a 2008 book detailing the current understanding of the history, epidemiology, burden, neurobiology, and management of bipolar II disorder.
Purpose: Bipolar II disorder is a very common condition that is not well understood. The purpose of the book is to provide readers with an extensive understanding of the disorder.
Audience: It is intended for all health professionals managing patients with mood disorders and patients looking for a better understanding of their condition.
Features: Each chapter is written by one or more authorities on bipolar II disorder. Several of the chapters use a debate format, where experts in one chapter comment on what experts wrote in another chapter. For example, while chapter 2 argues for a spectrum model of bipolar disorder, chapter 3 makes a case for a categorical model of bipolar disorder. Chapters 19-31 offer distinct commentaries on managing the illness. Figures and tables populate several of the chapters, and a reference list ends every chapter. Changes from the previous edition include combining some chapters and introducing new ones on comorbidity, overrepresented personality styles, illness trajectories, and distinguishing bipolar II disorder from personality disorders.
Assessment: As the editor makes clear, the lifetime risk of developing bipolar II disorder is 5 percent to 7 percent, but the illness is poorly detected. In fact, this is the only academic and clinical review focusing entirely on bipolar II disorder. This book not only fills a void in the literature, it does so in such a clear and concise manner that it is a true pleasure to read. What's more, the debate format results in excellent discussions of the definition and management of bipolar II disorder. As a resident who routinely treats patients with mood disorders, I found this to be an essential addition to my bookshelf.