November 17, 2009

Managing Bipolar Disorder: "Mood Mapping"

I've recently blogged about using Mood Tracking Solutions as a tool for those with bipolar disorder to help manage their lives (see Oct. 27 and Sept. 15 posts). I came across an interesting article which supports this notion. A UK based psychologist and bipolar patient, Dr. Liz Miller, has written a book: "Mood Mapping" which offers a method for bipolar patients to closely monitor their moods as a way to help manage their condition.

Dr. Miller was a successful neurosurgeon when she was diagnosed with biopolar disorder at age 28; a series of personal setbacks associated with the bipolar condition ended her career as a neurosurgeon. Like many people who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Dr. Miller sought as much information as possible about the illness and how to best treat it. Over time, she began to track her moods and daily habits. Eventually, she wrote a book which focuses on five main areas of life which affect a person's mood that can be changed: one's surroundings, physical health, relationships, strategies for life, and being yourself.

Thoughts: Dr. Miller's story is reminiscent of Dr. Kay Redford Jamieson's reliance on her own experience with bipolar disorder to create her compelling account in "The Unquiet Mind." That said, I have not yet read this book and I welcome any comments or critiques. Dr. Miller, now 52 years old, has not taken any medication to treat her bipolar disorder for 8 years. This approach flies in the face of a commonly accepted precept about how to manage bipolar disorder over the long term: i.e. taking a mix of meds to stablize mood and protect against depression is generally thought of as a crucial part of of treating bipolar disorder.


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