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From The CriticsReviewer: Michael Easton, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is a practical and easy-to-read book designed to help patients with bipolar disease and their families cope with this severe, chronic illness.
Purpose: It is designed to be an aid for these individuals, answering many of the common questions and addressing many of the stigmas and pitfalls associated with getting the right diagnosis and treatment.
Audience: The book is obviously written for patients who suffer from bipolar disorder as well as their families, but it also can be useful to less-seasoned clinicians in understanding patients' perspectives and some of the common issues they need to confront.
Features: Part 1 addresses the basic issue of how this book can help the individual, looks at the experience of bipolar disorder from a variety of perspectives, addresses obtaining the right diagnosis and how individuals can cope with it. Part 2 covers the etiology of bipolar disorder as well as the role of medication and therapy, while part 3 focuses on strategies to help individuals better manage their illness in a variety of situations.
Assessment: This is a thoughtful, well-balanced, and informative book for individuals suffering from bipolar disorder and their families. The information is accurate and the book addresses many of the relevant issues that patients and families will need to confront. Its chapters on obtaining an accurate diagnosis and managing the illness are very helpful and pertinent. The section on medication is a bit basic, but accurate and certainly a good starting point for most patients and their families. Some parts of the book are quite insightful and can be helpful to even the most experienced clinicians in appreciating patients' perspectives of their illness.