Bipolar Parents
You Are Not Alone

[Site Map] [Home] [About us] [Newsletter] [Resources]

Recommended Reading

Feel free to recommend a selection of your own.  Just e-mail with
Why you'd like to recommend this book (just a line or two is fine)

Author: Papolos, Demitri and Janice
Title: The Bipolar Child : The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood's Most Misunderstood Disorder

See Review in our newsletter.

  • Update! The link is to the newest addition with excellent information on IEP's for children with Bipolar as well as info on mood stabilizers and psychological testing.

Author: Steel, Danielle
Title: His Bright Light

Reading "his Bright Light" moved me to tears as the memoir captures so vividly the ferocious nature of mental illness. Page by page we come to understand that the illness strikes indiscriminately. Danielle's family is no different than thousands of other families who struggle with mental illness each day. Nick Traina, Danielle's son, was only 19 when he lost his life-long battle with manic depression. Danielle's loving tribute is an unsparing depiction of how this devastating illness tragically led to Nick's suicide.

Laurie Flynn
NAMI Executive Director

Back to Top

Author: Mondimore, Francis Mark
Title: Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families

For persons with bipolar disorder and their families, here is a comprehensive, practical, compassionate guide to the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. 22 illustrations.

In this book for persons with bipolar disorder and their families, Dr. Frank Mondimore offers a comprehensive and compassionate guide to the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and causes of this potentially devastating psychiatric illness, formerly known as "manic-depression." He offers practical advice for getting the most out of the various treatments that are now available - from medication, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive treatment to new approaches such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. For each, he discusses advantages, disadvantages, side effects, and other information to help patients make informed decisions about treatment options. He also describes what it is like to live with bipolar disorder and discusses how lifestyle changes can improve quality of life. Throughout, he focuses on the importance of building a support system, of planning for emergencies, and of giving one's self permission to seek help.

Back to Top

Author: Greene, Ross W.
Title: The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, 'Chronically Inflexible' Children

Flexibility and tolerance are learned skills, as any parent knows if they've seen an irascible 2-year-old grow into a pleasant, thoughtful, and considerate older child. Unfortunately, for reasons that are poorly understood, a few children don't "get" this part of socialization. Years after toddler tantrums should have become an unpleasant memory, a few unlucky parents find themselves battling with sudden, inexplicable, disturbingly violent rages--along with crushing guilt about what they "did wrong." Medical experts haven't helped much: the flurry of acronyms and labels (Tourette's, ADHD, ADD, etc.) seems to proffer new discoveries about the causes of such explosions, when in fact the only new development is alternative vocabulary to describe the effects. Ross Greene, a pediatric psychologist who also teaches at Harvard Medical School, makes a bold and humane attempt in this book to cut through the blather and speak directly to the (usually desperate) parents of explosive children. His text is long and serious, and has the advantage of covering an enormous amount of ground with nuance, detail, and sympathy, but also perhaps the disadvantage that only those parents who are not chronically tired and time-deprived are likely to get through the entire book. Quoted dialogue from actual sessions with parents and children is interspersed with analysis that is always oriented toward understanding the origins of "meltdowns" and developing workable strategies for avoidance. Although pharmacological treatment is not the book's focus, there is a chapter on drug therapies. --Richard Farr

Back to Top

Recommended by Kathy B.:

Author: Johnson, Toni Cavanaugh
Title: Understanding Your Child's Sexual Behavior: What's Natural and Healthy

Book News, Inc.
Describes healthy childhood sexual behaviors and contrasts them with sexual behaviors that signal a need for concern or intervention. While focus is mainly on problematic sexual behaviors, there is more in- depth information on normal childhood sexual behaviors than is usually found in one place. Covers natural and healthy behaviors, understanding children's sexual exploration, characteristics and causes of problematic behavior, and how to decrease problem behaviors, and devotes much material to dispelling myths about child sexual abuse and children's developing sexuality. The author is a clinical psychologist in private practice. -- Copyright 1999 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR All rights reserved Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Back to Top

Recommended by Kristina M.:

Author: Kurcinka, Mary Sheedy
Raising Your Spirited Child : A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic

Recently, temperament traits have come to the forefront of child development theory. In Raising Your Spirited Child, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's first contribution is to redefine the "difficult child" as the "spirited" child, a child that is, as she says, MORE. Many people are leery about books that are too quick to "type" kids, but Kurcinka, a parent of a spirited child herself and a parent educator for 20 years, doesn't fall into that trap. Instead, she provides tools to understanding your own temperament as well as your child's. When you understand your temperamental matches--and your mismatches--you can better understand, work, live, socialize, and enjoy spirit in your child. By reframing challenging temperamental qualities in a positive way, and by giving readers specific tools to work with these qualities, Kurcinka has provided a book that will help all parents, especially the parents of spirited children, understand and better parent their children.

A workbook is also available.

Teresa recommended this book because: I have read this book and also have personally consulted this Tdoc. ( he is in my area).  This book is full of helpful information dealing with and understanding our kids.  The author has a child with Tourette's syndrome and severe ADD. Has himself walked in our shoes.

Author: Lynn, George T.
Title: Survival Strategies for Parenting you ADD Child: Dealing with Obsessive, Compulsive, Depressive, Explosive Behavior and Rage

Back to Top

And Lee recommended this one

Author: Kohn, Alfie
Title: Punished by Rewards

Review: One again, Alfie Kohn destroys a universal myth -- this time convincingly exposing the destructive effects of using rewards to control children and adults. Every parent, teacher, and manager should read this book -- and hurry.
Thomas Gordon, Founder of Parent Effectiveness Training.

Lee was really on a roll and nominated this one, as well!

Author: Berger, Diane and Lisa
Title: We Heard the Angels of Madness

Review: When 18-year-old Mark returned home from college, his family thought he was on drugs. In fact, he was suffering from manic depression. This is the intimate, inspiring story of how Mark's family coped with his illness and the valuable information they gathered about manic depression: up-to-date, useful facts on drugs, doctors, therapy, insurance and other resources.

Bridgett thought this one might offer a change of pace.

Author: Jamison, Kay Redfield
Title: Touched With Fire : Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament

Review: Science Editor's Recommended Book
The march of science in explaining human nature continues. In Touched With Fire, Jamison marshals a tremendous amount of evidence for the proposition that most artistic geniuses were (and are) manic depressives. This is a book of interest to scientists, psychologists, and artists struggling with the age-old question of whether psychological suffering is an essential component of artistic creativity. Anyone reading this book closely will be forced to conclude that it is. Very Highly Recommended. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Back to Top

Bridgett is recommending this one because it is a favorite of hers: Unlike many books on genetics, this one is easy to understand. It contains case studies, and deals specifically with Bipolar Disorder. It's popular science, but what the heck... That's the type I like!

Author: Hamer, Dean and Peter Copeland
Title: Living With Our Genes: Why They Matter More Than You Think

Review: Book Description
No two people behave exactly the same. There are overeaters and undereaters, alcoholics and teetotalers, over--and underachievers. We have adventurers and armchair travelers, Don Juans and wallflowers, the timid and the bold-and every possible mixture and variation. Living With Our Genes argues that genes are the single most important factor in the wondrous variability of human behavior. In the past, studies of twins supported the assumption that inheritance plays a major role in why we feel or behave the way we do. Now, scientists are developing an impressive arsenal of research to identify the individual genes that guide human behavior.
Living With Our Genes will help readers understand their particular genetic make-up and decipher the mysteries of genetically inherited behavioral traits. Chapters are organized by various traits or characteristics so that readers can quickly turn to the issues most pressing in their lives, whether it's body weight or moodiness. Timid folks will investigate the molecular role in shyness. The flirtatious will turn to the chapter on sex. Am I angry because my dad is angry? What is it about my personality that prevents me from getting along with my coworkers? Hamer decodes the genetics of each trait, based on the very latest scientific findings, and then shows how the genes express themselves in real people.
In the tradition of Listening to Prozac this is an anecdote-filled book that attempts to explain how we arrive at the idea of self in an ever-changing scientific landscape. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title

Author: Pollack, William
Title: Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood

Listening to the author William Pollack read Real Boys, it doesn't take long to find out that being a boy these days isn't all fun and games. As co-director of the Center for Men at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical Center, Pollack has seen behind the stoic masks of troubled, modern boys as they struggle to cope with the mixed messages, conflicting expectations, and increasingly complex demands they receive from our evolving society. "New research shows that boys are faring less well ... that many boys have remarkably fragile self-esteem, and that the rates of both depression and suicide in boys are frighteningly on the rise."
What are parents to do? They could start by listening to the author's thoughts on contemporary child-rearing techniques, analysis of the root causes of many male behavior problems, and recommendations for avoiding all-too-common pitfalls. In Real Boys, Pollack draws upon nearly two decades of research to support his theories and makes an impressive assault on the popular myths surrounding the conventional definition of masculinity.

Author: Hershman, D. Jablow and Julian Lieb
Title: Manic Depression and Creativity

Review: Synopsis
From Plato, who originated the idea of inspired mania, to Beethoven, Dickens, Newton, Van Gogh, and today's popular creative artists and scientists who've battled manic depression, this intriguing work examines creativity and madness in mystery, myth, and history.

Back to Top

Author: Duke, Patty
Title: A Brilliant Madness: Living With Manic-Depressive Illness

Review: From Kirkus Reviews , April 1, 1992
Duke tells the story of her manic-depressive illness and its successful treatment, while in alternating chapters medical-writer Hochman (Heart Bypass, 1982) explains the facts of the disease and the methods of treatment currently available. Duke's strange and unhappy childhood was chronicled in Call Me Anna, and is touched on here only to show how fundamentally unloved and rejected she felt. Her manic-depressive disorder began to manifest itself when she was a young woman living in Hollywood, at the peak of her career, starring in The Patty Duke Show. As the illness escalated, her life degenerated into frequent suicide attempts, drug dependency, wrecked relationships, tantrums on the set. She began hallucinating and engaging in bizarre behavior like holding parties in her motel room for hordes of strangers (one of whom she married after a few hours' acquaintance) and hiring two guys she met in a parking lot to manage her finances (with results that can be imagined). Finally, her illness was diagnosed and successfully treated with lithium, which she takes to this day and to which, she says, she owes her present stable, happy marriage and her very life. Hochman provides information on the various forms of depression and the various guises that bipolar (manic-depressive) illness can take, identifies people at risk for these diseases, discusses the link between manic-depressive disorder and creativity, and surveys medical treatments and family-support techniques that can help the sufferer. The tone seesaws between the lurid and the dry, depending on whether Duke or Hochman is writing. But despite its gracelessness, this memoir has merit: Duke shows bravery in telling her story in all its humiliating flagrance, and undoubtedly sufferers from this puzzling and devastating disease will find help in the explanations and resources Hochman diligently provides. -- Copyright 1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

All graphics the exclusive property of Bipolar Parents and not to be used without express written permission.
All contents copyright 1999, 2000 by Bridgett Garrahy and Krista Long unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
This web site has been created entirely by parents for parents, and is in not intended to take the place of advice from a medical or other professional.