Description: This book is intended for people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, their significant others, and healthcare providers involved in managing their care.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide information for patients and families to develop skills that will enable them to be good treatment consumers as well as partners with their healthcare providers in the management of bipolar disorder. The book is a valuable contribution to individual patient empowerment.
Audience: The book is clearly written in a manner that enables average readers to understand and, just as importantly, ask questions about the disorder, and makes suggestions about what to ask their healthcare providers. This makes the book appropriate for the patient, significant others and caregivers, as well as students of the healing arts in teaching their patients about collaboration in care. The authors provide an evidence- and research-based perspective.
Features: A description of bipolar disorder begins the book, followed by suggestions for how to be an active collaborator in treatment. This sets the stage for the descriptions that follow of the disorder itself, developing habits of taking prescribed medication, the role of psychotherapy, stress management, managing cognitive distortions, relationships, life goals, developing a treatment contract, and managing problem moods like anger and irritability. The book addresses the special populations of children and adolescents, but does not specifically address the geriatric population. The self-care approach in collaboration with healthcare providers is well covered throughout. The book is unique in its perspective on development of wellness, and supports current treatment models that focus upon recovery in illness.
Assessment: This valuable handbook helps this population to be more effective at managing their disorder as well as to become more empowered as partners in their care. Presentation of factual information avoids a dogmatic approach by facilitating dialogue with caregivers and promoting an approach that leaves readers informed about situations as they apply to the patient. As research-based information becomes available, perhaps future editions could be expanded to include more information about additional special populations.