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When Someone You Love Is Bipolar: Help and Support for You and Your Partner

Overview

When Bipolar Disorder Afflicts the Person you Love, you Suffer too. How have other couples learned to manage the relationship strains caused by this illness? What can you do to provide your partner with truly helpful nurturance and support? No one cares more deeply about these questions than Dr. Cynthia Last, a highly regarded therapist/researcher who also has bipolar disorder. Sharing stories and solutions from her own experience and the couples she has treated, Dr. Last offers heartfelt, practical guidance for ...

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Overview

When Bipolar Disorder Afflicts the Person you Love, you Suffer too. How have other couples learned to manage the relationship strains caused by this illness? What can you do to provide your partner with truly helpful nurturance and support? No one cares more deeply about these questions than Dr. Cynthia Last, a highly regarded therapist/researcher who also has bipolar disorder. Sharing stories and solutions from her own experience and the couples she has treated, Dr. Last offers heartfelt, practical guidance for getting through the out-of-control highs and the devastating lows-together. Learn how you can help your spouse come to terms with a bipolar diagnosis, get the most out of treatment, and reduce or prevent future mood episodes, while also taking care of yourself.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Columbia College of Missouri)
Description: This is an honest examination of the ups and downs of living with and loving a partner suffering from bipolar disorder. The author's own experiences and clinical practice add substantial relevance to the book.
Purpose: The primary purpose is to help people who don't have the illness meet the challenges of loving someone with bipolar disorder. This book is written specifically for spouses and partners. The author draws not only from her own experience living with bipolar disorder, but also from her work as a clinical psychologist.
Audience: Clearly, spouses and partners as well as family and friends will benefit from this book. Mental health professionals will gain valuable knowledge to share with patients and clients.
Features: Bipolar disorder is difficult enough for the patient, but for the spouse or partner, it can be overwhelming. The author examines and discusses the pertinent issues that may affect that relationship. She devotes an entire chapter to expectations of the disorder and its course, and a general understanding for the lay person. Treatment considerations are provided with an unbiased examination of the various options. Prevention and recognition of mood episodes are discussed in detail and include medication compliance, suggestions for psychoeducation, proper sleep and eating routines, as well as dealing with alcohol and drug abuse issues. A very important chapter discusses taking care of oneself, a critical issue when a spouse or partner is suffering from an illness.
Assessment: This is a wonderful addition to the field that finally fulfills the need for a relevant and honest discussion of the challenges bipolar disorder poses to a relationship.
ForeWord Reviews
"Relationships struggle and frequently fail when a partner suffers with bipolar disorder. A self-reported sufferer of the disorder, clinical psychologist Dr. Cynthia Last brings twenty years of experience and hope to readers who love those who are bipolar or struggle with it themselves....Included are practical, down to earth strategies."--ForeWord Reviews
About.com
"Some of the most common emails we receive are from significant others of those who have bipolar disorder. These are from husbands and wives, lovers and friends, parents and children who just want to help, be there for the person they love. But they don't know how. For these people, I highly recommend When Someone You Love Is Bipolar....Dr. Last is a practicing clinical psychologist, which means she has frontline experience with those who have bipolar disorder and their loved ones. Also, she has bipolar II disorder herself. The foreword of the book is written by her husband. I found it touching to read the compromises he's made to help their marriage and how they've tacked this together. Dr. Last's work is organized and easy to read....The call-outs, bold headings, and detailed index make the book an excellent quick-reference resource....Another great facet...is the extensive inventory of tools....Regardless of your loved ones participation, you will find this book to be a valuable resource."--About.com
Library Journal

Inspired by her own experiences with bipolar disorder, clinical psychologist Last (Help for Worried Kids) takes on the disorder in all its manifestations, counseling readers about its impact on relationships. As she points out, the impact of the disorder depends not only on its severity, the quality of the treatment, and the patient's compliance but also on the partner's willingness to monitor the disorder and periodically accept it as a "third party" in the relationship. She also considers the constraints placed on social life and, conversely, how the patient's high energy and creativity can compensate for the instability and mood problems. Part reference and part self-help guide, the book includes checklists, charts, scales, and strategies, with an emphasis on the medical aspects of this condition and its treatment. The strongest chapter features detailed information about psychotropic medication, helping partners understand what the medications do and what the side effects are. A list of recommended books, organizations, and Internet sites is included. Verdict Fact filled and loaded with advice, this book can be somewhat dense and repetitive, making it most appropriate for more sophisticated readers.—Fran Mentch, Cleveland State Univ. Lib.


—Fran Mentch
From the Publisher

"Few books deal with the challenges that bipolar disorder poses for couples. Anyone whose spouse or partner has the illness should read this easy-to-digest guide. Dr. Last helps the spouse understand what the sufferer is going through and how both partners can get their needs met. Couples will find much useful information for coping with the disorder, improving communication, strengthening their relationships, and taking care of each other on both a practical and an emotional level."--David J. Miklowitz, PhD, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
 
"This book is peppered with brilliant and intimate accounts of the personal journeys of  Dr. Last, her patients, and their loving families. It is a fabulous resource for anyone who is riding the roller coaster with a spouse or partner who has bipolar disorder."--Mani Pavuluri, MD, PhD, author of What Works for Bipolar Kids

"With a lot of love and hard work, the two of us have been able to achieve a stable and wonderful life. My wife has written this book for you and your partner, so that you can benefit from everything the two of us have learned during the course of our relationship about living, as a couple, with bipolar disorder."--from the Foreword by the author's husband, Barry M. Rubin
 
"This book is a 'must read' for loved ones of bipolar sufferers. Dr. Last's candid sharing of her own personal struggles, and her therapeutic insight and recommendations, will resonate deeply with readers."--Mary A. Fristad, PhD, ABPP, coauthor of Raising a Moody Child

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593856083
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/16/2009
  • Pages: 306
  • Sales rank: 214,327
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia G. Last, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Boca Raton, Florida. She has served on the faculties of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Nova Southeastern University, and is internationally known for her research on the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders. The author or editor of 13 books, Dr. Last has been widely quoted and interviewed in the media. She lives with her husband of more than 20 years, Barry M. Rubin.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

1 Does Someone you Love Have Bipolar Disorder? 7

2 What You can Expect: The course of Bipolar illness 31

3 "It's Not Me!": When Your Partner is in Denial 61

4 What You Need to Know about Your Partner's Treatment 86

5 You, Your Loved One, and the Doctors: The Team Approach to Getting and Staying Well 125

6 Helping Your Partner Stick with Medication 145

7 Other Things You and Your Partner can Do to Prevent Mood Episodes 165

8 Strategies for Dealing with the ups Together 199

9 Strategies for Dealing with the Downs Together 235

10 Taking care of Yourself and Your Relationship 260

Resources 283

Index 293

About the Author 306

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