Bipolar
Manic Depression

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Blessed with the Fire

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My own experience with Bipolar:


    I have several different experiences with Bipolar:
  1. I was diagnosed with a chemical Imbalance years ago, but didn't know any specifics.  I was having suspicions around the ladder part of 98 that it could be Bipolar, but wasn't sure, cause the Psychiatrist told me I suffer from Major Depression and my Psychologist told me I might suffer from Bipolar Disorder.  I thought I might be a very high functioning Bipolar, cause I wasn't feeling as severe as the people I have read about.

    I've only had a few Major Depressive episodes and one low depressive episode that lasted for 9 months, since the onset of age 14/15.  Even during those times I was able to work, but was dragging feet.  I'm glad I haven't gone through what some people with Major Depression or Bipolar go through.  I do get spend happy occasionally and thought that it might be a form of hypomania, but I haven't been going overboard to the point where it hurts me financially. It made things a little tight for a while, but I was able to deal with it. I have entered some low-grade depression in the past as well.  During those times I do not make friends easily, get very shy and withdrawn, don't talk much and am very self-critical.  Those were also the times when I felt very alone. I have not had a depressive episode since 2001

  2. I have thought of myself as self-destructive in love. I used to always go for the wrong men. Either they were unavailable, controlling, or abusive. Funny thing is that I have dated a lot of men who seem to suffer from Bipolar Disorder. It's almost like I'm a magnet to Bipolar. I have dated 2 diagnosed Bipolars, one who I strongly suspect was Bipolar and had a Mom who was diagnosed and 2 others who I think are Bipolar but I do not know their history. I have also had two friends in childhood who have been diagnosed with Bipolar later in life and have two friends now that have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

    Nowadays I believe that my Chemical Imbalance might be a combination of environmental things and not just a chemical imbalance in itself. I believe smoking to be one of them. Ever since I quit smoking I have not had one depressive episode. The Pseudotumor seems to be another and last but not least there is my wonderful friend Fibromyalgia. Ever since my Pseudo-Tumor went into remission and I quit smoking I'm getting along much better. I haven't had any Major depressive episodes in over 15 years. I may feel blue a few days here and there, but nothing major. Also I have been told that my spine is messed up by a Chiropractor and that a lot of my problems could have originated from that. Especially since the top of the spine was pushing against my brain stem. No-one in my family has ever been diagnosed or has had symptoms of Bipolar nor Major Depression. Not that this means I couldn't be the first, but Who knows.

  3. I started to research the disease because my ex-boyfriend was diagnosed with Bipolar and I joined a Support Group back then. He was a good guy with a bad illness that he refused to treat on a steady basis. After being with him for a year I couldn't stand his aggressiveness and his self-destructive behavior any longer and broke it off. I had learned a lot about Bipolar during that time though and am thankful to him. We are still friends and I wish nothing but the best for him.

  4. When I met my husband Donny I felt blessed of having been through this particular relationship, for I was familiar with the disease. Donny had been in a very destructive relationship for 7 years, with a woman which suffered from Bipolar Disorder and had three children with this woman. It was a big Roller Coaster for all of them. Not only that, but since Bipolar is also genetic there is always the fear that his kids might be Bipolar as well. As a matter of fact, it looks like all three of them have it. Jessica has been diagnosed with ADHD in 2003 and Major Depression in October 2004. Then in February 2005 she was diagnosed with Mood Disorder. Emily is diagnosed with Major Depression since 2003 and has been treated with Lamictal (the same medication Jessica is on). They then put her on Ritalin thinking she may be ADHD as well, but nothing helped. Her Therapist thought she just has behavior problems, not Bipolar and told me to take her off of all meds, which we did. She still had mood swings, sometimes severe. It got to a point where we needed to put her back on the medication, cause she got too distructive and impulsive again. So then she went back on Lamictal and we added Concerta which helped tremendously with the impulsiveness and had made her a different child. I don't know why exactly we stopped, but she must've had some type of side-effect. At that point her Psychiatrist changed the diagnosis to Mood Disorder and said she is leaning more towards Bipolar than Depression alone. A couple of years ago she then was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 2. Sadly she started self medicating with her birth mother and is not a part of our life anymore. My son Tydon was not displaying symptoms bad enough to cause severe problems before school started, so we were not medicating him at that point. Since then, Tydon has been on Ritalin and Adderall which has not helped him. Tydon then was having problems in school and was very aggressive and just like his sisters, very impulsive. He seems to be manic more than depressed, but sometimes to a point where it's hard to live with. Eventually he was put on Lamictal as well, which has helped tremendously. He was also on Intuniv for school purposes which seemed to help him there a lot. He has had some bad issues when he decided not to take his medications anymore and started self medicating with Marijuana. He completely lost all embition and quit going to most of his classes in school. He also started getting delinquent. After a stint in juvenile detention and placement outside of the home, he straightened his act up to come back home. For a few months he was doing really well until he quit his medication again and started smoking pot again. Now he's failing classes again, skipping school and not caring about his future. It's a big time rollercoaster ride!

    Bipolar in Children is often at first mis-diagnosed as ADHD and/or Major Depression and with their family history (4 blood relatives are diagnosed with Bipolar), I know that the kids have it as well. Tydon started to come to our attention, due to his talk about talking with Satan, and making fun of God. He has also been saying that he is smarter than his teacher, which all seems to be grandious behavior. He also had some hypersexual incidents in early 2005 and since then has had some other hallucinations as well. Jessica has been effected in a more rollercoaster type of way and can be very aggressive, but also very grandiose. Emily on the other hand is more like a normal Teenager with a little bit of depression sprinkled in. She's also cut in the past and has had a lot of impulse control issues, but doesn't have the agression the other two show.

    In researching about Early Onset Bipolar and Bipolar in Children in General (which is somewhat different from Adult Bipolar) we have seen a lot of identical behaviors in our children. The first Psychiatrist the kids saw did not see the connection and said that all 4 blood relatives had probably been misdiagnosed. Somehow I think she should read up on the topic and realize what impact she has on those children by what she's doing. I think I'm destined to become a Bipolar Expert and be my children's Advocate. Maybe along the way I can help a few others as well!

  5. Update March 2010
    It should be called Manic March, not May, cause my kids just go wild in March...every March. I get so dis-illusioned during that time. Jessica just got done hitting a child with a shovel, Emily stole something from school and then a few days later punched a girl in the face and Tydon jumped a kid from behind. At home it's not much better. They fight with each other, totally dis-respect me and their Dad and just are extremely explosive. It's times like these I just want to give up. I have said it this year. I'm giving up... I'm not doing this anymore..nothing helps anyway... then I get the climpse of how they can be and the love I feel for them and I'm back to wanting to try and make it all better and just hold them and make it go away.. which of course, I can't. Being a mother of a Bipolar child can be a tremendous strain and stress source. I really need to remind myself ALL the time, that it's the Bipolar, not the upbringing and that sometimes I just have to step back and take a deep breath!
  6. Update August 4th, 2011
    All three kids were taken off of meds for the summer. It only lasted a couple of weeks and all hell broke lose. What a nice reminder that those kids need to be on meds! Jessica was the first one to go back on. We had grounded her and told her she needed to find work before she was un-grounded. She actually started Mc Donalds about a week ago and seems to like it. If she makes the 3 months mark, which I hope she will, she'll be better off than her Birth-Mom who could not hold down a job at all. Emily has been very emotional and started cutting up stuff again without meds as well as stealing, so she was second to be put back on meds and Tydon just got put back on cause he got really depressed. Throughout the years I definitely have to say that it's the depressive periods that are the hardest to deal with.
  7. Update May 29th, 2012
    Jessica has had a boyfriend for over a year now and still works at McDonalds. I'm so proud of her!!! Emily is really looking forward to finding a job and she is graduating Middle School without having to take summer school. Yeah!!! Tydon has not had one failing class in his first year in middle school and I think that's super!!! I'm NOT taking them off of meds this summer. Everything is going pretty good right about now and Jessica is actively talking about her meds with her Psychiatrist. Could it be she's actually starting to grow up a bit?
  8. Update February 1st, 2017
    Jessica worked at Mc Donalds for 3 years. She is now jobless and can't hold down a job. She just got released from Psych and put herself back on meds. She is also going to file for Social Security. It's been some rough years. She had moved back into the house and stole crap from me when she moved out and we ended up in a huge fight. We're are now close again. She's been with the same guy for a couple of years now and is engaged to him. He is also Bipolar. Emily hasn't been around us for close to a year. She hit a really rought patch, married and moved out and moved back in after separating from her husband and then moved in with David with her new boyfriend that she ended up having a baby with. She got together with her birht-mom, got on hard drugs and abandoned her baby with the Daddy's parents. We haven't had contact in 8 or more months. Tydon got into bad trouble, skipping most of school and stealing a gun. He ended up in Core which is a Juvenile Detention Program. He was doing good for the year he was there and as he was supposed to come back home got really drunk and went back to Juvy for a while. He's been home since September 2016 and did really good for the first couple of months. However, he is going downhill really fast. Again he's skipping quite a bit of school, smoking pot and really doesn't give a shit about anything. I don't think he will graduate High School. It's so sad, cause he could be a straight A student. Bipolar sucks!!!



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What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder, or as it used to be called, manic-depression, is characterized by moods that swing between two opposite poles, alternating between periods of mania (exaggerated euphoria) and depression.  The illness is further classified according to symptoms as Bipolar 1, Bipolar 2, and Cyclothymic Disorder. There can also be an important difference in Bipolar in Children, as discussed later.

People with Bipolar1 may experience depressive and manic episodes or just manic episodes (although this is very rare). People with Bipolar 2 suffer primarily from depressive episodes with occasional bouts of hypomania (low-grade manic symptoms), but they do not experience full-blown manic phases.  In cyclothymic disorder, periods of hypomania alternate with depression. It is not as severe as Bipolar 2, and 1, but the condition is more persistent, enduring at least two years, with no break in symptoms that last more than two months.  Cyclothymic Disorder may be a precursor to full-blown Bipolar Disorder in some people or may continue as a low-grade chronic condition.

In most cases of Bipolar Disorder, the depressive phases far outnumber manic phases, and the cycles of mania and depression are not regular or predictable (although it seems that spring and fall are the worst times for most Persons suffering from Bipolar Disorder). In a subtype of the illness known as rapid cycling, the manic and depressive stages alternate at least four times a year and in severe cases can progress to several cycles a day.  Bipolar Disorder has confounded the medical profession for centuries, but only in the last forty years have doctors begun to understand the disorder and to develop successful treatments.



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What are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

  1. Depression:

    The symptoms of depression experienced in Bipolar Disorder are almost identical to those of major clinical depression, which include:

    • sad mood
    • fatigue or loss of energy
    • insomnia, excessive sleeping, or shallow, inefficient sleep patterns with frequent awakenings
    • weight gain or loss
    • diminished ability to concentrate or make decisions
    • physical agitation or markedly sedentary behavior
    • feelings of guilt, pessimism, helplessness and low self-esteem
    • loss of interest or pleasure in life and
    • thoughts of or attempts at suicide
 

Depressive episodes associated with Bipolar Disorder are less likely to have a specific trigger, are not as long, and develop more gradually than those caused by major depression.  One interesting study reported that Bipolar Patients often experience dreams of death at the low point of their depression, and these dreams were soon followed by an upward mood change.

  • Mania:

    A manic episode usually comes on suddenly, and it often, but not always, follows a period of severe depression.  An episode lasts for at least a week and can continue for months.  Friends and family members of a person with Bipolar Disorder who is entering a manic phase for the first time may be relieved at first by the patients increased energy level, gaiety, and sociability.  It soon becomes apparent, however, that the person's mood is too "hyper" and that the behavior is strange.

     

    Symptoms of a manic episode include:

    • rapid speech
    • disconnected thoughts
    • grandiose ideas
    • hallucinations (hearing voices or seeing visions)
    • extreme irritability 
      Irritability is most often the first noticeable change in behavior at the onset of a manic phase.  The patient often requires little sleep; some experts suggest that sleep loss may actually trigger or intensify mania. 
    • Close to 60% of all manic patients experience feelings of omnipotence, sometimes believing that they are godlike or have celebrity status.  Some patients experience intense sexual energy or a marked increase in strength.
  • Hypomania:

    It is a less severe variant of mania; it is of shorter duration, although it lasts at least four days.  Patients with hypomania do not have severely impaired functioning and generally do not require hospitalization.



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    Manic-depression, also currently known as Bipolar Disorder, has baffled medical practitioners for thousands of years.  Observers as far back as Plato have written of its strange behaviors and its apparent link to creative genius.   There is still a tremendous amount of stigma and discrimination.  Since manic-depression is genetic, you really want kids to know that there is a certain risk.  If they start getting depressed, they know that they've got an illness that can be treated, they can go to a doctor and get good care.  When it comes just out of the blue, it can be awful. There is no reason to have stigma attached to this disorder, but that doesn't mean that there isn't.

    • Family History: Bipolar Disorder often occurs within families.  Studies of identical twins raised apart found that about two-thirds of the pairs shared the disorder when one twin had it.  Among fraternal twins, the risk for the second twin is only 20%.  Often, families of patients with Bipolar Disorder include members with other psychiatric problems.  It has long been observed that children of Bipolar Parents often have a more severe form of the disorder than do their parents.  A recent study indicated that a daughter with Bipolar is at particularly high risk for developing a more severe form if her mother has the disorder.  The study also suggested that having parents of other family members with major depression is associated with a higher risk for Bipolar Disorder.
      One out of every four Americans have a mental disease.  Approximately 5% of Americans suffer from Bipolar Disorder.

    • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: In one study, 65% of adolescents with Bipolar Disorder met criteria for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); another study determined that close to 25% of children diagnosed with ADHD either already have Bipolar Disorder or go on to develop it.  The risk for both diagnoses was highest in white males.  Symptoms were also more severe in people with both conditions.

    • Miscellaneous Risk Factors for Bipolar: The time of the year appears to play a role in increasing the risk for episodes.  In one study, men appeared to have more episodes during the spring and women were at higher risk during the spring and fall.  In both genders, aggressive behavior peaked in the spring.  The rate of the disorder is estimated to 10 to 20 times higher among people in the creative arts than in the general population.  People who are alcoholic may also be at higher risk of Bipolar Disorder.

    • Personality Traits: One interesting study defined personality traits associated with Bipolar Disorder.  Patients tended to lack persistence, avoid harmful situations, and be dependent on rewards.

    When making a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, it is important that the physician rule-out other conditions that may be causing symptoms of mania.  Hypomania, the less severe variant of mania, may be difficult to distinguish from normal joy or euphoria, but it can be differentiated by its persistence for more than a day; in addition, most hypomanic patients are easily distracted and overly talkative.

    Some people think that it's important to find a doctor who specializes in the field. For that, you have to seek a Psychiatrist who belongs to the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology (ASCP). A directory listing is not a guarantee of excellence or expertise, but it is a good place to start.
    A quick way to screen: Ask if the doctor practices psychotherapy. If the answer is Yes, keep looking. You might also ask the doctor what the highest dose of Prozac was he ever prescribed. If it is 80 mg or less, keep looking.
    (This information was taken from Mary Pauly from the BP Support Group)



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    To get a Life chart (to keep mood changes noted) call 1-800-518-7326. The chart is put out by the Stanley Foundation Bipolar Network, a program of NAMI Research Institute.



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    People with alcoholism may be able to give up alcohol, but people with Bipolar Disorder cannot give up their mind. Bipolar Disorder results from an imbalance of chemicals in the brain...it is not their fault.



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    Links for more info on Bipolar:

    Bipolar
    Bipolar and Depression Information
    Bipolar Central
    Bipolar in Children
    Bipolar Meds - Abilify
    Bipolar's Significant Others
    Highly Sensitive Persons
    Hypnosis for Mental Health
    Med Charts for BP
    Mental Health Information
    Mood Charts
    National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association
    (also to find Support Groups)
    National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
    National Institute of Mental Health
    National Mental Health Association
    Pendulum Resources
    Psychology of the Self
    Techniques of dealing with a Bipolar Child

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    Books and other Resources:

    Books
    Title Description
    A Brilliant Madness by Patty Duke

    In her revealing bestseller Call Me Anna, Patty Duke shared her long-kept secret: the talented, Oscar-winning actress who won our hearts on The Patty Duke Show was suffering from a serious-but-treatable-mental illness called manic depression. For nearly twenty years, until she was correctly diagnosed at age thirty-five, she careened between periods of extreme euphoria and debilitating depression, prone to delusions and panic attacks, temper tantrums, spending sprees, and suicide attempts. Now in A Brilliant Madness Patty Duke joins with medical reporter Gloria Hochman to shed light on this powerful, paradoxical, and destructive illness. From what it's like to live with manic-depressive disorder to the latest findings on its most effective treatments, this compassionate and eloquent book provides profound insight into the challenge of mental illness. And though Patty's story, which ends in a new found happiness with her cherished family, it offers hope for all those who suffer from mood disorders and for the family, friends, and physicians who love and care for them.

    Bipolar Child (the) by Demitri Papolos, M.D. and Janice Papolos

    Bipolar disorder--manic depression--was once thought to be rare in children. Now researchers are discovering that not only can bipolar disorder begin very early in life, but also that it is much more common than ever imagined. Yet the illness is often misdiagnosed or overlooked. Why? Bipolar disorder manifests itself differently in children than in adults, and in children there is an overlap of symptoms with other childhood psychiatric disorders. As a result, these kids may be given any number of psychiatric labels: "ADHD," "Depressed," "Oppositional Defiant Disorder," "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder," or "Separation Anxiety Disorder." Too often they are treated with stimulants or antidepressants--medications that can actually worsen the bipolar condition.

    Since the publication of the first edition, thousands of families have gotten to the root of their children’s behaviors, and found the answers they were looking for in The Bipolar Child. Drawing upon recent advances in the fields of neuroscience and genetics, the Papoloses convey what is known and not known about the illness. They comprehensively detail the diagnosis, tell how to find good treatment and medications, and advise parents about ways to advocate effectively for their children at school. Included in these pages is the first Individual Education Plan--IEP--ever published for a bipolar child. The book also offers critical information about the stages of adolescence, hospitalization, the world of insurance, and the psychological impact the illness has on the child. New to this edition are information on promising new mood-stabilizing drugs and omega-3 fatty acids, more advice on getting appropriate school accommodations, and a full discussion about the complexities of family life when more than one family member has the illness. A critical new chapter deals with the deficits in the area of executive functions that have recently been identified as a common feature of a bipolar disorder. This chapter walks parents through a neuropsychological testing and–for the first time–recommends a specific battery of tests that should be administered to these children and adolescents.

    The Bipolar Child is rich with the voices of parents, siblings, and the children themselves, opening up the long-closed world of the families struggling with this condition. Already proven, in its original edition, to be an invaluable resource for parents whose children suffer from mood disorders, as well as the professionals who treat and educate them, this book will prove to have major public health significance.

    Bipolar Disorder Demystified by Lana R. Castle

    Bipolar disorder, a brain disorder characterized by intense high and low moods, is a complex illness that is often difficult to identify. Each year, at least 2.3 million Americans suffer from its most severe form, while an estimated 10–13 million others suffer from milder forms. Yet, many go misdiagnosed or untreated. In Bipolar Disorder Demystified, author Lana Castle, who has lived most of her life with this illness, turns her personal experience into an enlightening and useful guide for all those traveling down the same path. In clear and compassionate language, Castle helps those who suffer from the illness as well as their friends and family understand the true nature of bipolar disorder, the factors that complicate its diagnosis, and the best ways to cope with it. Bipolar Disorder Demystified makes great strides in dispelling the mystery surrounding this illness, helping readers decide if it’s time to seek treatment and providing those with any form of mood disorder the information they need to better manage their lives.

    Bipolar not ADHD by George Isaac, MD

    Uncrecognized Epidemic of Manic Depressive Illness in Children
    A great book written for Professionals, but very insightful for "regular" people as well

    This book is intended to make everyone aware of how Bipolar Disorder, otherwise known as Manic Depressive Illness, especially in its atypical forms, is presently misunderstood and misdiagnosed as ADHD, Conduct Disorder, and other related behavioral disorders. It is also intended to make professionals and others who deal with troubled children become competent in identifying this serious and pervasive illness in children and adolescents and of being help to them.

    A brief discussion of the etiology and treatment available for this illness and the social ramifications of this illness and its misdiagnosis in children are also included.

    The book would be very valuable for psychiatrists, child psychiatrists, other professionals in the mental health fields, and students and professionals interested in child psychiatry and mental health of children.

    Defiant Child (the) by Dr. Douglas A. Riley

    This is a Parent's Guide to Oppositional Defiant Disorder, but has some very useful information for Parent's of Children with Bipolar Disorder as well. Just apply the information to your child as needed.

    The title of the book will immediately grab the attention of parents who hunger for information about children diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (O.D.D). There is little information available for the general public about this disorder even though it is rapidly becoming a diagnosis of choice by many doctors. The Defiant Child is well written and easy to read. It attempts to give a tough no-nonsense approach for parents to remain in control when the child is displaying negative, angry and hostile behavior toward adults. It implies that many teenagers display O.D.D. behavior. It is most effective when it outlines the rules O.D.D. children live by and provides intervention strategies for parents to curb O.D.D. behavior. The impact of The Defiant Child is negated because it does not know its audience. It is written like a behavioral specialist plan for parents, but could prove most useful for clinicians who could interpret these plans for the parents. It is structured like a psychotherapeutic treatment plan that provides a behavioral definition of the disorder, goals and objectives, and therapeutic interventions. The treatment approach is the restructuring of the family system. The family structure approach generally relies on problem solving and the focus on future movement of the family from dysfunctional dynamics. It is filled with stories of children seen

    Depression and its Treatment by John H. Greist, M.D. & James W. Jefferson, M.D.

    Depression strikes millions with incomprehensible, uncontrollable unhappiness. Here at last is hope and help. A book that banishes fear and confusion, Depression and its Treatment offers step-by-step explanations and answers your questions on causes, effects, and many proven treatments.

    The most up-to-date information on Prozac, Zoloft, and other recently FDA-approved drugs.

    Depression and Mania - Modern Lithium Therapy by F. Neil Johnson

    This book is an invaluable guide both for psychiatrists primarily interested in the practicalities of lithium therapy and for patients seeking information about their treatment. Each chapter describes a specific feature of lithium therapy while the contributors provide fresh approaches to the benefits and drawbacks of lithium usage.

    This book comprises comprehensive reviews of all aspects of lithium treatment. It includes origins and chemistry, medical applications, comparisons with alternative therapies, clinical practice, side-effects, cost-effectiveness and its current and future status in psychiatric treatment. Practicing psychiatrists and students alike will find here fresh approaches to the benefits and drawbacks of lithium therapy.

    Difficult Child (the) by Stanley Turecki, M.D.

    I have not read this book yet, but it promises to have some parenting techniques that may help the Parent's of Bipolar Children

    How to help--and cope with--the difficult child

    Temperamentally difficult children can confuse and upset even experienced parents and teachers. They often act defiant, stubborn, loud, aggressive, or hyperactive. They can also be clingy, shy, whiny, picky, and impossible at bedtime, mealtimes, and in public places. This landmark book has been completely revised to include the latest information on ADHD, medications, and a reassuring approach to all aspects of childhood behavioral disorders.

    In this parenting classic, Dr. Stanley Turecki, one of the nation's most respected experts on children and discipline--and himself the father of a once difficult child--offers compassionate and practical advice to parents of hard-to-raise children. Based on his experience with thousands of families in the highly successful Difficult Children Program he developed for Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, his step-by-step approach shows you how to:

    Identify your child's temperament using a ten-point test to pinpoint specific difficulties
    Manage common--often "uncontrollable"--conflict situations expertly and gently
    Make discipline more effective and get better results with less punishment
    Get support from schools, doctors, professionals, and support groups
    Understand ADHD and other common diagnoses, and decide if medication is right for your child
    Make the most of the tremendous potential and creativity that many "difficult" children have

    Family Education in Mental Illness by Agnes B. Hatfield

    With current trends toward family care of individuals with major mental illness, it is now generally accepted that families need a firm knowledge base and wide range of skills in order to cope with a mentally ill relative. Toward this end, educational programs are developing all over the country. However, little attention has been given to education as a discipline or to the contributions that educational psychology can make to more effective instruction and skill development. A resource that will help professionals become more effective family educators, Family Education in Mental Illness is the first book to delineate the key elements for creating curricula in family education by combining what is known about mental illness with essential principles of education.

    Singular characteristics of the volume are its focus on understanding the experiential side of mental illness as the foundation upon which to build content and method, and its applicability to a variety of situations. Throughout, the author deliberately avoids presenting a model to imitate, but rather presents salient ideas out of which mental health professionals can create their own models of family education that fit the personality of the practitioner, the nature of the agency, and the kinds of families to be served.

    Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and psychiatric nurses in the field of mental illness who wish to increase their skills in working with families will find this book an invaluable resource. It will be of particular value to those mental health professionals who work in such settings as clinics, hospitals, and rehabilitation services with responsibilities for case management, counseling, administration, and rehabilitation. It also serves as an ideal text for graduate level courses.

    His Bright Light - Danielle Steel

    The Story of her son Nick Traina.  I guess I like it so much cause I can relate to him being a musician.

    "This is the story of an extraordinary boy with a brilliant mind, a heart of gold, and a tortured soul. It is the story of an illness, a fight to live, and a race against death.

    "I want to share the story, and the pain, the courage, the love, and what I learned in living through it. I want Nick's life to be not only a tender memory for us, but a gift to others. . . . I would like to offer people hope and the realities we lived with. I want to make a difference. My hope is that someone will be able to use what we learned, and save a life with it."
    --Danielle Steel

    From the day he was born, Nick Traina was his mother's joy. By nineteen, he was dead. This is Danielle Steel's powerful, personal story of the son she lost and the lessons she learned during his courageous battle against darkness. Sharing tender, painful memories and Nick's remarkable journals, Steel brings us a haunting duet between a singular young man and the mother who loved him--and a harrowing portrait of a masked killer called manic depression, which afflicts between two and three million Americans.

    At once a loving legacy and an unsparing depiction of a devastating illness, Danielle Steel's tribute to her lost son is a gift of life, hope, healing, and understanding to us all.

    How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

    Here is the bestselling book that will give you the know-how you need to be effective with your children. Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Faber and Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding.

    Recently revised and updated with fresh insights and suggestions, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk is full of practical, innovative ways to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships.

    Moodswing by Dr. Ronald R. Fieve, M.D.

    This book is from 1981, but is a wonderful book that teaches a lot about the history of Bipolar and Lithium Therapy and how far we've really come from the 50's to now.

    Moodswing. Millions of Americans have it. It can be a positive energizer that drives creative people: the Wall Street tycoon, the Pulitzer Prize-Winning playwright, the career girl. Or it can result in destructive unhappiness... Which shall it be? Now, Dr. Fieve's timely book reveals the new world of chemotherapy opened by new medicines for the mind.

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Adolescents by Spencer Eth, M.D.

    I included this book due to the fact that my Children's Psychiatrist speculated that PTSD could be the problem instead of BP. I read the book and I don't believe that is the case. However, it is a good source in diagnosing BP by elimination.

    A full and complete review of PTSD with up-to-date information on standardized assessments, biological approaches, courtroom aspects, and long-term effects. Recommended highly for those just entering the trauma field as wells as for those experienced workers who need to find new information all in one place.

    Dr. Eth and colleagues address critical issues in our understanding and treatment of children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events. From evaluation to biological treatment and forensic assessment, this volume will be valuable to clinicians and teachers alike.

    Survival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar Disorder

    Up until five years ago, the professional community did not think that Bipolar Disorder occurred in children. Children with symptoms of Bipolar Disorder were diagnosed as 'severe ADHD', 'depressed' or 'Oppositional Defiant'. Now, as it is being increasingly diagnosed, George Lynn offers clear, practical advice on recognizing the symptoms, understanding medication and accessing the necessary support at school as well as the managing the day-to-day challenges of parenting a child with Bipolar Disorder. As it is frequently found in combination with ADHD, Tourette Syndrome and Asperger's Syndrome, the author draws on case-studies from his own psychotherapeutic practice to show what these conditions have in common, how they differ, and how they relate to each other.

    Survival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar Disorder tackles the most difficult decisions parents can face, including whether to involve police or consider hospitalization if their children are a danger to themselves and their families. At the same time, it emphasizes the positive qualities these children often have and illustrates how their gifts and abilities can build their self-esteem and help them function better in society. However severe the child's symptoms, George Lynn's book will provide guidance, support and inspiration for parents and carers as well as being a useful resource for professionals working with the families who suffer as a result of this disorder.

    Understanding Depression by Donald F. Klein, M.D. & Paul H. Wender, M.D.

    Recent studies have found that one woman in five, and one man in ten, will suffer from depression or manic depression sometime during the course of their lives. This is a disturbing statistic, but there is hope, because more and more evidence has surfaced to indicate that many psychiatric disorders are biological diseases that can be successfully treated with medication. Most people, however, know little about these recent findings. They don't know how to tell if the depression they are suffering from is biological or not, nor what they can do to recover from it if it is.

    In Understanding Depression, Donald Klein and Paul Wender offer a definitive guide to depressive illness--its causes, course, and symptoms. They clarify the difference between depression (which is a normal emotion) and biological depression (which is an illness), and include several self-rating tests with which readers can determine whether or not they should seek psychiatric evaluation to determine if they have a biological depressive illness. They describe the symptoms of biological depression, among them loss of energy, changes in eating habits, sleep disturbances, decreased sex drive, restlessness, poor concentration and indecisiveness, and increased use of intoxicants and drugs. And they paint a clear picture of how depressive illness can affect people's lives, using excerpts from patient histories to show the progress of each patient from the onset of depression to treatment and recovery. The authors also discuss the different types of treatment available, including antidepressant drugs, electroconvulsive therapy, and psychotherapy, and they examine the benefits and side effects of psychopharmacological drugs (including the new antidepressants, lithium, and the controversial Prozac), related disorders (such as panic attacks, atypical depression, seasonal affective disorder, and PMS), and how to get the right kind of help.

    Most victims of biological depression often fail to seek help, whether out of guilt or ignorance, and many are often misdiagnosed by physicians or psychotherapists who fail to recognize the symptoms of the illness. Understanding Depression seeks to make the public (both lay and medical) aware of the issues of biological depression, providing a highly informed and readable guide to this much misunderstood disease.

    Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar child (the) by Judith Lederman and Candida Fink, M.D.

    Bipolar disorder has recently been identified as one of the most misunderstood and underdiagnosed conditions affecting children -- and it is dramatically on the rise. The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child gives parents the sound advice and expert information they need to cope with this challenging diagnosis, and shows how to provide essential care and support for a bipolar child as well as for the rest of the family.

    The book provides parents with bipolar children sound advice and expert information necessary for coping with this challenging diagnosis. Shows how to provide essential care and support for the child and the family. Includes such topics as choosing the right mental health care professionals, medications, structure of daily life, and more.


    An Article about Childhood Onset Bipolar Disorder
    by Caroline C. McGee
    Life on a Roller Coaster
    Also from Caroline C. McGee, a nice Children's Book
    Matt the Moody Hermit Crab

    Bipolar Network News

    c/o Stanley Foundation
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    Bethesda, MD 20814
    (800) 518-1890

  • Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy
    305 Seventh Avenue 16th Floor
    New York, NY 10001
    (800) 685-AABT



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