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Books worth reading on bipolar disorder
Mood Mapping: Plot Your Way to Emotional Health and Happiness, by Dr. Liz Miller
A Bipolar Disorder story of recovery, remission and success through hard work, determination, lifestyle changes inspired from self-insight. Intensive journaling and writing therapy, exercise, positives changes in diet and nutrition, music, media habits also contributed to Dr. Miller's recovery.
Meeting the Challenge of Bipolar Disorder: Self Help Strategies that Work! Recovery, Remission and Prevention, by the AYCNP, Gabrielle Woods PhD (Editor), Dr. Laura Pipoly (Foreword)
Meeting the Challenge of Bipolar Disorder: Self Help Strategies that Work! provides tested and practical ideas in self help that can improve symptoms and help most with bipolar disorder to achieve remission. (Currently eBook. Paperback scheduled for Dec 15, 2012).
Living Without Depression and Manic Depression: A Workbook for Maintaining Mood Stability, by Mary Ellen Copeland
Living Without Depression and Manic Depression outlines a program that helps people achieve real breakthroughs in coping and healing. This workbook covers the following issues:
building a network of support
developing a wellness lifestyle
achieving calmness with energy
symptom prevention strategies
developing a personalized plan for mood stability
building a career that works
dealing with sleep problems
diet and vitamins
dealing with stigma
managing medication side effects
psychotherapy and counseling alternatives
learning to have fun, laughter, and pleasure
Bipolar Disorder: Insights for Recovery, by Jane Mountain, M.D.
When faced with the challenges of bipolar disorder, Jane Mountain, M.D., chose to give up her practice, cut down on her daily activities and pursue recovery. In doing so, she became interested not only in her own recovery but in helping others who have bipolar disorder. Jane Mountain writes from the unique perspectives of a physician, a person with bipolar disorder and a family member of someone with the disorder. She writes in a personal, friendly and jargon-free manner that her readers appreciate. This book is neither a memoir nor a clinical manual. Rather, it is the distilled insight of someone working hard at recovery. Mountain shares in everyday language the insights that have helped her and others find the path of recovery.
Mountain brings hope and insight not only to the millions who have bipolar disorder, but also their families and friends. Her breakthrough perspectives on bipolar disorder are medically accurate and recovery-based.
Bipolar Disorder-Insights for Recovery, received a 1st Place in the EVVY Awards of the Colorado Independent Publisher's Association.
Overcoming Mood Swings, by Jan Scott
Extreme emotional states, highs and lows that are often associated with bipolar disorder, can be intense. Mania and depression can be difficult to overcome. This is a self-help book for those who experienced mood swings, whether or not those mood swings are labelled as bipolar disorder. The methods used here are tried and tested, practical, and help you to carefully self-regulate. It can help you to break the cycle of mood swings and achieve emotional stability. Self-monitoring sheets are also included in this book.
New Hope for People with Bipolar Disorder: Your Friendly, Authoritative Guide to the Latest in Traditional and Complementary Solutions Jan Fawcett, Bernard Golden, Nancy Rosenfeld
Why some get worse rather than better taking antidepressants and precautions. Seeing both sides of atypical antipsychotics, and other medications that affect neurotransmitters; effective lifestyle changes, coping with stigma; guide to various forms of psychotherpay.
Relapse Prevention in Bipolar Disorder: A Treatment Manual and Workbook for Therapist and Client (Relapse Prevention Manuals series), by Dr. John Sorensen
The Sorensen Therapy for Instability in Mood (STIM) is an important new psycho-educational and cognitive therapy for treating bipolar disorder (BPD). This STIM manual and client workbook offer a psychological therapy which has proven to be highly effective. It can be delivered in four 60-minute sessions by practitioners with little specialist training and results in significant improvements in the client's perceived control over mood.
How Dr. Liz Miller fully recovered from Bipolar Disorder I through intensive journaling and writing therapy, subsequent self-insight, and lifestyle changes.
In 2008 Dr. Liz Miller was voted Mind's Mental Health Champion of the Year Photo: June 11 2008, The Guardian
Dr. Liz Miller’s story of full recovery and remission from bipolar disorder serves as an inspirational example for those suffering from bipolar disorder, or for those who are just seeking more order within themselves, whether it be with a formal diagnosis of bipolar disorder, or dealing with symptoms associated with the disorder.
Dr. Miller's bipolar disorder story demonstrates a path to recovery through self-insight and therapy, lifestyle changes and self help rather than through lifetime maintenance with pharmaceutical drugs, as is most commonly recommended. Hers is a story of how basic lifestyle changes and practicality, as well as therapy through intense journaling for introspection, through writing about moods and devising ways to become aware of changes in mood and then making appropriate changes, resulted in gradual, and finally, full recovery from what is now referred to as Bipolar Disorder I. (Bipolar disorder I is a more severe form of the disorder, bipolar disorder II, somewhat less severe).
Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis, Denial and Resistance, Hospitalization
Dr. Miller began to experience severe symptoms associated with depression, mania and bipolar disorder at the age of twenty-nine when she began to isolate herself after a prosperous medical career and as a student of neurosurgery. Like many in the same situation, she was in denial and returned to work upon release, hiding her hospitalization from everyone outside of her immediate family.
As a result, she was admitted to the hospital twice more, resisting treatment despite her inability to concentrate or comprehend the difficulties she was going through. Feeling like she was backed into a corner, she couldn't see a future and soon slipped into depression with corresponding bouts of mania.
Acceptance, Self-Education, Self-Agency, Self-Management
With time, she came to accept her situation and started reading all of the bipolar disorder stories and studies that she could get her hands on. Reading material on the subject of bipolar disorder beyond mere medical model analysis, or anything pertaining to self help for bipolar disorder, was extremely sparse, and she joined support groups and began to volunteer for the Manic Depression Fellowship, now referred to simply as the Bipolar Organisation (U.K.), which is where she was introduced with the concept of self-management as a means of controlling the symptoms of the disorder.
Intensive Writing Therapy, Journaling, Mood Documentation and Mapping
Using this as a launching pad, she began intensive writing therapy, documenting her moods, activities, traumas, and day to day experiences in journals, as well as in short stories and novels, detailing every part of her day. She chronicled her moods and feelings as she experienced them, endeavoring to pin them down for inspection. What contributed or preceded depression? Mania? What made her feel worse? What alleviated symptoms?
She was able to pinpoint specific lifestyle habits and activities along these lines, and this led to lifestyle changes, significant adjustments, resulting in overall improvement. The writing therapy, especially intensive journaling, in itself was therapeutic.
This process and the improvement she experienced, led Dr. Miller to the development of a system that visually mapped moods that proved to be more detailed and comprehensive than the mood chart from the Bipolar Organisation used in their program and that had initiated her approach to this method.
"I stopped listening to anything that might upset me, such as loud music and disturbing films."
Miller's Bipolar Disorder Story: Isolating Five Aspects of Mood - Positive Affect
During this time of intensive hour-by-hour journaling, she isolated five differentials affecting mood:
Utilizing these facets of the inner self, the effect of environment, and the affect that day to day interactions with others had on her moods, Dr. Miller self-evaluated and found that once she knew more about her illness and the symptoms associated with it, connected with others, and acknowledged her disorder, her depression began to lift, her manic episodes began to equilibrize, and she became assured in her belief that self-management was beginning to work.
"I had been told I would be on medication for the rest of my life, that I was at constant risk of further episodes of mental illness, and that I would probably never work again."
Bipolar Disorder I Recovery Through Lifestyle Changes
Next, she began to make lifestyle changes in harmony with the newly developed self-insight in order to initiate further equilibrium on other aspects of mood associated with her bipolar disorder diagnosis. Since she noticed that her energy level directly affected her mood, she started making changes with physical habits.
The following are just some of the changes she made in physical activity that positively affected her mood and balance:
Quieted down and went to bed early.
Regular exercise: Running and swimming.
Gave up drinking alcohol.
Positive changes in nutrition and diet - vegetarian diet, cut out junk food.
Paid more attention to sleep and energy levels.
Other psycho-physical changes that Dr. Miller notes which positively affected and helped to balance her mood were:
Read as much as possible on her disorder. (Reading stories or insightful professional material on bipolar disorder can be therapeutic as you connect with others, you gain relief from isolation and develop a sense of community with others who may be experiencing the same emotions. However, reading in itself, as a calming, solitary activity, can positively affect mood and emotions).
Making positive changes in music, toward music that was more calming.
Cutting out disturbing movies.
[For some, cutting out television as a lifestyle, or during a period of recovery is practical for many reasons. The news, as one example, with its emphasis on the negative, can contribute to depression or disequilibrium for those who are emotionally sensitive, which can include both women or men. The same can be said for similarly negative or intriguing journalistic television news magazines that focus on tense, intense, disturbing or negative situations.]
Self-management Effective for Bipolar Disorder - Miller's Recovery and Remission
The lifestyle changes made by Dr. Miller, with the correspondent positive affect on her mood, further reaffirmed that self-management was effective. Further, it aided in her eventual discontinuation with reliance on mood stabilizers and antipsychotics.
Mapping her way through a progressive bipolar disorder story that was ultimately successful, Dr. Miller finally struggled out of a dense jungle of extremes in mood that had previously eluded her, and it became quite clear to her that being cognizant of day-to-day, and moment-to-moment changes in mood and what precipitated those moods was a critical piece of the puzzle. She recommends a similar approach for others with bipolar disorder.
Miller has been off of psychiatric medications now for 14 years, and states that she there is no doubt in her mind that she will never have to go back on psychiatric drugs for bipolar disorder, after many years of battling with Bipolar Disorder I. She has not sustained a diagnosis of bipolar disorder during this time period.
Dr. Miller has been working secularly in Occupational Health and General Practice for years now, something that she gradually eased back into her life over the past two decades. Initially, she worked as a volunteer with supportive organizations with which she was affiliated, and gradually was able to handle secular work, which at first was only part-time.
What we can learn from Dr. Miller's success in overcoming bipolar disorder and similar successful bipolar disorder stories of recovery
Dr. Miller wisely observes that "mood forms the foundation on which different feelings and emotions grow." Through her experience, we can learn that if we put into practice changing the background music in our lives, we might achieve greater peace of mind and clarity. Through gaining self-insight and make changes that reflect what we learn in our journey of self-discovery and personal growth, we can map our way out of the jungle of the mood extremes related to bipolar disorder, and be to walk the path of remission and recovery, charting a course towards our own bipolar disorder success stories.
If we haven't been able to maintain our secular work, we can reintroduce work gradually, and with recovery, lead much happier and healthier lives. You can recover from bipolar disorder. Develop a sense of self-determination, self-agency, get control over your own life, make decisions conducive to a lifestyle that contributes to better physical and corresponding mental health. Dr. Miller's success in overcoming bipolar disorder is not an isolated case. There are literary thousands of bipolar disorder success stories to be related. Of the millions who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder I or II annually, literally hundreds of thousands recover and experience remission.
This biographical account is based on the book, Mood Mapping: Plot Your Way to Emotional Health and Happiness (off-site), Dr. Liz Miller's autobiographical summary of her experiences with bipolar disorder and recovery, and based on personal communication with Dr. Miller. In 2008, Dr. Miller was voted Mind's Mental health Champion of the Year. Dr. Miller also is a co-founding member of the Doctors' Support GroupMood Mapping: Plot Your Way to Emotional Health and Happiness by Dr. Liz Miller is an informational and practical book based on a 14-day plan of self-management exercises that guide readers to a greater understanding of mood regulation. It provides daily exercises centered on comprehensive journaling designed to lead to self-insight, and as a method to micro-manage feelings and emotions before they affect moods.
Links related to Dr. Liz Miller's Bipolar Disorder Story of Recovery (off-site)
O'Hara, M. (2008, June 11). Doctor's ordersThe Guardian.
Liz Miller was a successful surgeon when depression hit. Now the Mind Champion of the Year wants the medical profession to take mental health seriously.
Miller, Liz. (2009, November 11). How mood mapping helped me beat bipolar disorder. CNN Health.
Mood Mapping – Dr Liz Miller – About the Mood Map grid. (2013, April 7). Rethinking Bipolar Disorder - Eliminating Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis.
"My illness will not come back, because now I know what the triggers are". June 8, 2009.The Telegraph. Dr Liz Miller, a former high-flying neurosurgeon who developed bi-polar disorder, talks to Elizabeth Grice.
Strategies for Managing Bipolar Disorder. (2012, August 7). Bipolar Disorder Lifeline.
Other: The Secret Life of Manic Depression: Everything You Need to Know About Bipolar Disorder. BBC.
AYCNP Pages Related to Bipolar DisorderDealing with Bipolar Disorder: Self Monitoring for Relapse Prevention
Bipolar Disorder PoemAbout Bipolar Disorder Information and Facts
Bipolar Disorder Self Help 50 Natural Ways to Overcome Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Help for Bipolar Disorder - Coaching
Labeling in Psychiatry - The Medical Model of Mental Health and its Shortcomings
Bipolar Disorder OverdiagnosedBipolar Disorder and Children, Sharna Olfman
Bipolar Disorder Treatment - Children and Teens
Bipolar Disorder OverdiagnosedMood Stabilizers, Lithium - Effects and Side Effects
The Bipolar Workbook, First Edition: Tools for Controlling Your Mood Swings helps the reader realize that overcoming bipolar disorder can be hard work, takes considerable commitment, and requires a positive attitude. However, there is much that an individual can do to help himself, and self help in bipolar disorder is often ignored. This book offers practical ideas in overcoming bipolar disorder.
Drawing Together to Manage Anger
provides helpful ideas in anger management. The more we get away from violence of all types, it can be of help in controlling anger. Art captures the eyes in a kind way, and can help some to develop self-control, especially when combined with other positive lifestyle changes and attention to spiritual and social needs.
Taking Back Control: Gaining autonomy with my medication (GAM)
My Self management Guide - This excellent resource is produced by the Quebec, Canada mental health association, RRASMQ. It helps patients/clients to work along with their doctors to reduce or eliminate psychiatric medication. This is being accomplished safely and effectively in mainstream psychiatry services in Quebec through mainstream professional mental health services and organizations. The book is in French (top of page) or English (bottom). Anyone on psychiatric meds should consider this information. The book is $5 plus $5 shipping to the U.S. (not affiliated w/the AYCNP). The book is not available on standard distribution channels, but only from the authors/publishers.
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