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Books worth reading
on bipolar disorder


Meeting the Challenge of Bipolar Disorder: Self Help Strategies that Work!, by the AYCNP, Gabrielle Woods PhD (Editor), Dr. Laura Pipoly (Foreword)


Overcoming Bipolar Disorder Using Self Help Methods 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:

  • self-advocacy
  • building a network of support
  • developing a wellness lifestyle
  • achieving calmness with energy
  • symptom prevention strategies
  • building self-esteem
  • developing a personalized plan for mood stability
  • building a career that works
  • trauma resolution
  • 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.


    The Bipolar Workbook: Tools for Controlling Your Mood Swings by Monica Ramirez Basco PhD

    Overcoming bipolar disorder can be hard work and take commitment and 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 Marge Eaton Heegaard

    Very 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.


    Image courtesy of winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    "Brain Design By Cogs And Gears" Image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    "Artist At Work" Image courtesy of Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


     
    Page updated: November 22, 2015


    Bipolar Disorder Natural Cures


    This page presents one idea among 33 ideas developed in the book "Meeting the Challenge of Bipolar Disorder: Self Help Strategies that Work!" by the AYCNP.


    Disappear in a quiet world of peace and creativity where time slips away. Three hours later, you scarcely realize than more than 15 minutes have passed. The mind slows down, is fully focused and engaged, and at the end, you have visual evidence of your self-worth. Your persistence and training have paid off. Neil Young sang about "that perfect feeling when time just slips," in his 1970s ballad, "Like a Hurricane".

    If there was a perfect feeling when times just slips, it would be when you are fully engaging in creating art work. Modern psychologists describe this state of mind as "flow," when you achieve a type of timelessness, and lose track of the present. It is also referred to as mindlessness in present terminology, and what many don't realize is that "Flow" or mindlessness can be achieved, through creating artwork, as well through other creative activities. However, in this context, art is given consideration, as a means by which to calm, focus, and redirect the mind. As one art enthusiast said, "when I create art, hours pass by and I don't even realize it."

    Natural cure and  mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder: creating art.
    Creating artwork can calm anxiety, help you develop focus, contribute to greater self-esteem, help you break free from pornography addiction and contribute to a general reduction in the intensity of symptoms associated with bipolar disorder.


    Evidence in the form of clinical studies, indicate that those with bipolar disorder are often highly creative, more so than the general population. That creative potential needs to be tapped and realized.

    What is more, if there every were a full-proof natural cure for mania it would be in drawing and painting. The mind slows down and you are lifted into artistic hyperspace, where racing thoughts are next-to impossible. Creating artwork might one of the most beneficial natural cures for mania, bipolar disorder in general, ADHD and OCD as well.

    Entering the somewhat disheveled art gallery, art school and home of Hudson County Artists Association in Jersey City, NJ, a wonderful feeling of peace quickly ensues. Away from the noise of the hustling streets, buses, cars and taxis, the smell of oil paint in the air, the peaceful grace of oil paint being stroked gently on the canvas seems to reverberate in the atmosphere. Without a shadow of a doubt, artistic endeavors can be therapeutic and calming. Creating artwork is magnificent self-help that can unlock the paralyzed corners of your mind and thaw mental and even emotional mental freeze.

    Whether under the guidance of an art therapist or engaging in art through one’s own initiative, art should be viewed as a form of self-help for bipolar disorder and numerous other mental health disorders for a significant percentage of those who are diagnosed with, or have the symptoms associated with bipolar disorder. Art can be compared to a natural mood stabilizer for many.


    Creating Art Contributes to Self-Control, Controlling Emotions, Relaxation and Mindfulness


    The peace and solitude that artwork brings to an individual can help them to develop self-control and quell racing thoughts that are associated with bipolar disorder and manic episodes, in particular.

    Natural cure and  mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder: creating art.
    Creating artwork can help calm racing thoughts.

    Alternatively, one may engage in art as a way of coping with the ferocity of one's emotions, and creating artwork may allow one to express surging emotions in a socially acceptable way. Whether one engages in artwork to calm oneself, or do so in an effort to express one’s emotions as a catharsis, both avenues in terms of engaging in art can lead to better mental health. Art can be a natural mood stabilizer. It is free of side effects, as well as being an activity wherein the act of creating artwork is beneficial in terms of both its process and its goal.

    Essentially, by engaging in artwork, you find a space for relaxation and mindfulness. Moreover, while, unless you are already an artist or have natural abilities, it may take some time to produce high level art, you may be increasingly pleased with the outcome of your experiments with canvas and paint. When you sit back and see what it is that you yourself created, it helps you to remember your creative potential and worth as an individual. The painting or drawing that you have completed is an evidence of you and reaffirmation that you have value, whatever anyone else might think or say.

    Art is good therapy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, as well as recovery from emotional wounds of child abuse, and as an effective tool/skill in leveraging the breaking free from pornography addiction; it rechannels the eyes positively when there is, evidently, a high need for visual stimulation in the porn-addicted individual.

    Art is rooted in positive visual stimulation (if you willfully choose positive subjects), and it can fill the eyes with evolving images, whether those images are peaceful and soothing or highly chaotic or emotional. If those images are peaceful, it can contribute to stability, if they are chaotic, it can serve as a catharsis.


    Positive Art Therapy Helps Depression and Bipolar Disorder


    Studies indicate that depression is helped through positive art therapy; by focusing on positive and happy subjects, art as a therapy is more effective for depression, than when used a catharsis, especially after initial efforts of communicating any trauma have been achieved. Everyone’s artwork is unique, and we project into our artwork the emotions that we feel or that we want to feel.


    Art as Self Help Helps Control Racing Thoughts


    Artwork expresses what is inside us and can be an effective non-verbal form of communication. It is logical that, if one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder is talking rapidly, perhaps, slightly out of control during a manic episode or while in a manic state, that by keeping quite for two hours painting a canvas in silence, the mechanisms causing this rapid firing of synapses leading to racing thoughts and accompanying verbal overflow, are interrupted, and these particular symptoms are addressed, perhaps becoming a non-issue – three points less on your bipolar disorder ratings scale.

    Perhaps this step alone will take you out of the range of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. As noted, creating artwork can allow for emotional release. It can reflect frustration, anger, or, more beneficially, especially after initial therapy or self-disclosure involving past trauma, love or a sense of peace; but it culminates in a release of our emotions, as an outlet for those emotions, and ideally, as a means of willfully focusing on positive emotions.

    Sketching and drawing can help contribute to the development of powers of concentration as does painting. When you engage in creating artwork regularly, latent creative abilities can emerge and develop.


    Art Therapy as a Professional Natural Therapy for Bipolar Disorder


    Art can be a useful therapy used by an art therapist. Art therapy is not an alternative treatment option, but it is administered by a board certified therapist in conjunction with therapeutic sessions. Therefore, art therapy is part of mainstream psychology practice. When a person may have difficulty in expressing him or herself to a therapist or psychologist, or may be reticent or resistant about doing so, art therapy may be a good option.

    Additionally, whether you utilize an art therapist or not, if you are seeing a therapist, counselor or utilizing the services of a social worker or coach, members of your support team, or even oneself, may interpret the products of artwork, and ponder the emotions that you have felt. Your completed artwork serves as visual evidence of your emotional state.


    Portrait Sketching and Painting Contributes to Development of Compassionate Qualities -Art Self Help, Pornography Addiction


    You can become your own "therapist" by engaging in art as a form of self-help. Learning to do portraits is a marvelous form of artwork, but which needs to be developed in order to become fully competent at. In drawing or painting human beings or animals, qualities such as compassion and a personal interest in others can be developed.

    Natural cure and  mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder: creating art.
    Creating portraits is one of the highest forms of art and can be stabilizing in many ways.

    Drawing the face of a child, for example, or of a beautiful women, you learn to develop seeing with “the eyes of love” rather than the “eyes of lust”. You are looking at the face, not the body of the woman, and you are beginning to learn to focus on the human face, the most-human part of the human body, rather than the sexual parts of the body. You begin to see the humanity of the individual, rather than stimulating lust.


    Creating Art Contributes to Development of Self-Esteem


    Art has the ability to contribute advantageously towards self-esteem. As you develop a skill, a talent, that perhaps they never knew they possessed, seeing the visual evidence of one’s work or talent contributes to positive emotions and to feelings of self-worth. As an avenue toward good mental health, art does make you feel good.

    For all of these reasons, art is a great form of self-help and professional therapy, that is underutilized, but that can contribute towards better mental health for many with bipolar and other mental health disorders. For some it can be a large part of the cure.


    References for Natural Cure for Bipolar Disorder: Creating Art


    Brandt, M. L. November 16, 2005. More evidence of association between bipolar disorder and artistic creativity. Stanford University News. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/november16/med-bipolar-1 The small study, which appears in the November issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research, 11605.html

    Megatulski, N. 2003. Creativity and Bipolar Disorder. Serendip Update. http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1768

    Simeonova, D. I., Chang, K. D., Strong, C., Ketter, T. A. November 2005. Creativity in familial bipolardisorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research. Volume 39, Issue 6, November 2005, Pages 623–631. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine.


    Pages Related to Bipolar Disorder


    Help for Bipolar Disorder - Coaching

    Dealing with Bipolar Disorder: Self Monitoring for Relapse Prevention

    Labeling in Psychiatry - The Medical Model of Mental Health and its Shortcomings

    Bipolar Disorder Overdiagnosed

    Bipolar Disorder and Music

    Bipolar Disorder and Children, Sharna Olfman

    Bipolar Disorder Treatment - Children and Teens

    Bipolar Disorder Drug Treatmemt

    Anger Management - Tips, Strategies, Therapy and Techniques

    Best Psychology books - Natural Method - (off-site)


    More Books Related to Bipolar Disorder


    Healing Depression & Bipolar Disorder Without Drugs: Inspiring Stories of Restoring Mental Health Through Natural Therapies, by Gracelyn Guyol

    Former public relations executive Guyol was determined to be free of psychiatric medication that caused dangerous side effects; that was the catalyst for this guide to the most effective natural remedies for depression and bipolar disorder.

    In moving real-life stories, readers will meet people whose illnesses left them incapable of basic functioning yet they continued their search for healing, discovering alternative and mainstream healthcare providers with whom they partnered.

    While no single treatment cured them, a combination of helpful supports restored their mental, emotional and physical capacities. Guyol's respectful presentation of their tenacity in the face of great obstacles is, perhaps, the main strength of this effort. (Aug.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Overcoming Bipolar Disorder: A Comprehensive Workbook for Managing Your Symptoms and Achieving Your Life Goals . by Mark Bauer, Evette Ludman, Devra E. Greenwald, Amy M. Kilbourne

    In Overcoming Bipolar Disorder, a prestigious team of researchers and experts on bipolar disorder presents this research-based program for helping people with bipolar disorder manage symptoms, explore triggers and coping responses, and develop a comprehensive plan for living a full life based on core values and goals.


    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, inexpensive to implement, and popular with clients. 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.