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Publishers WeeklyIn the experience of bipolar disorder specialist Cohen (director of Harvard University's McLean Psychiatric Hospital), treatment is always more effective "when a partner was involved" to provide ongoing support. Thus, he and science writer Lowe team up to produce a helpful source of support and information for that partner, who is sure to face his or her own problems coping and keeping up. The volume's first part provides useful information about the disease, which is estimated to afflict between five and ten million Americans and is characterized by extreme, polar opposite states of mood (encompassing, at times, both mania and suicidal depression) and a constellation of symptoms like sleeplessness, extreme irritability, hypersexuality, substance abuse, and delusions of grandeur or persecution. The second part describes the particular issues partners face when living with a bipolar sufferer, and includes approaches to communication and coping, workplace situations, intimacy, and the event of suicide threats or attempts. Throughout, Lowe and Cohen emphasize the importance of counseling for both patient and partner, and of soliciting support from all sources: relatives, friends, and even employers. This helpful, compassionate guide to making a "productive and loving life" despite an unpredictable disease is capped with excerpts from the DSM-IV-TR and a list or resources.
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