Bipolar Disorder Information > Frequently Asked Questions and Answers


Continued from Part 3...

6.2 Books

Q: What are some good books to read about bipolar disorder?

A: Everyone has their own favorites. The ones that are most often mentioned or
recommended are:

"A Brilliant Madness" by Patty Duke and Dr. Gloria Hochman
"An Unquiet Mind" by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison
"The Depression Workbook" by Mary Ellen Copeland
"Touched With Fire" by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison
"Questions and Answers about Depression and Its Treatment" by Dr. Ivan Goldberg

The standard medical textbook on bipolar disorder is "Manic Depressive Illness"
by Frederick Goodwin and Kay Redfield Jamison.

Full references for these books, and many more, can be found below. The
following list of books has been derived from various sources, including Joy
Ikelman's Media File. (To obtain the latest version of the Media File--a
listing of books, movies, tapes, plays, and other media resources of interest
to folks with bipolar disorder, send e-mail to Joy at


Title: A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness
Author: Patty Duke (Anna Pearce) and Dr. Gloria Hochman
Publisher: Bantam Books; 1992
ISBN: 0-553-07256-0
Comments: Patty Duke's very personal account of her struggle with
manic-depression. Duke writes every other chapter, while
Hochman writes about the more clinical aspects of

Title: The Broken Brain: The Biological Revolution in Psychiatry
Author: Nancy Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D.
Publisher/Year: Harper-Perennial; 1984
ISBN: 0-060-91272-3
Comments: Scientific theories on biochemistry, brain function and
biophysics of neurotransmission. Language is semi-technical
but meant for the layperson.

Title: A Brotherhood of Tyrants: Manic Depression and Absolute
Authors: D. Jablow Hershman & Julian Lieb
Publisher/Year: 1994
ISBN: 0-87975-888-0
Comments: The authors consider tyranny as the product of bipolar
disorder (especially mania) together with ruthlessness, ambition,
paranoia, and other charming qualities. The approach is
interdisciplinary, combining psychiatry and history. They present
biographies of the public and private lives of Napoleon,
Hitler, and Stalin.

Title: Call Me Anna; The Autobiography of Patty Duke
Author: Patty Duke (Anna Pearce) (with Kenneth Duran)
Publisher/Year: Bantam Books, 1987
ISBN: 0-553-05209-9
Comments: Patty Duke's autobiography.

Title: Creative Brainstorms: The Relationship Between Madness
and Genius
Author: Russell R. Monroe, M.D.
Publisher: Irvington Publishers, Inc. 740 Broadway, NY NY 10003
ISBN: 0-8290-1769-0
Comments: Robert Lowell and Ernest Hemingway are the main persons the
author uses as examples of artists with manic-depression.
Others are mentioned: Ezra Pound, Mary Lamb, Virginia Woolf.

Title: The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and
Manic Depression
Author: Mary Ellen Copeland
Publisher: New Haringer Publications; 1992
Comments: A detailed overview of the history, causes and treatment
of mood disorders. Offers step-by-step, self-help guidance
for taking responsibility for your own wellness; using
charts to track and control your moods; find appropriate
mental health professionals; build a support system,
increase your self-confidence and self-esteem; using
relaxation, diet, exercise and full-spectrum light to
stabilize your moods; and avoid conditions that can
exacerbate you moods swings. "An essential tool to assist
people struggling with depression and mania to gain insight
to actively enter a lifelong journey of healing and

Title: Depression: The Mood Disease
Author: Francis M. Mondimore, M.D.
Publisher/Year: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990
ISBN: 0-801-83856-8
Comments: Contains-- Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment (Mood,
Depression, Bipolar Disorder), Variations, Causes, and Connections,
and Getting Better. From the jacket: "Dr. Mondimore's book reduces
the complexities of this baffling and very common illness to terms
the general reader can understand. Having been treated for
manic-depression for more than ten years and considering myself
something of a lay expert, I was pleasantly surprised at
how much this book increased my own knowledge of the subject."
--Thomas M. Posey, President, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

Title: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric
Association (DSM-IV)
Publisher/Year: Version IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994
ISBN: 0-89042-062-9
Comments: Lists all mental illnesses and diagnostic criteria and assigns
a coding system. Fascinating reading.

Title: The Emotional Pharmacy
Author: Roberta Morgan
Publisher/Year: Body Press, 1988
ISBN: 0-895-86709-5
Comments: Covers psychological problems treatable with psychoactives as
well as recreationals and their affect on brain chemistry and

Title: The Essential Guide to Psychiatric Drugs
Author: Jack Gorman
Publisher/Year: St. Martin's Press; 1992
ISBN: 0-312-06967-7
Comments: Discussion of psychiatric drugs, info about side effects,
and practical tips, in non-technical language.

Title: Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
Author: David Burns, M.D.
Publisher/Year: Signet; 1980
ISBN: 0-451-16776-7
Comments: Self-help cognitive therapy techniques for depression,
anxiety, etc.

Title: The Feeling Good Handbook
Author: David D. Burns, M.D.
Publisher/Year: Plume; 1989
ISBN: 0-452-26174-0

Title: Fire in the Brain: Clinical Tales of Hallucinations
Author: Ronald K. Siegel
Publisher/Year: E.P. Dutton, NY; 1992
Comments: Siegel is a professor at UCLA School of Medicine's Department
of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Studies of various
hallucinatory experiences, including sleep disorder states.

Title: The Good News About Depression
Author: Mark S. Gold
Publisher/Year: Bantam; 1986
ISBN: 0-553-34511-7
Comments: Nontechnical discussion of depression as a biochemical illness.

Title: The Good News About Panic, Anxiety and Phobias; Cures,
Treatments and Solutions in the New Age of Biopsychiatry
Author: Mark S. Gold, M.D.
Publisher/Year: 1989
Comments: How biological mimickers can cause psychiatric symptoms,
caffeine, sunlight, OCD, medications, tests, MAO levels, etc.
Lists resources by state and contains a bibliography.

Title: Graedons' Best Medicine from Herbal Remedies to High-
Tech Rx Breakthroughs
Authors: Joe and Teresa Graedon
Publisher/Year: 1991
Comments: Very readable, nontech reference book with useful inserts
on such topics as "Drug-induced Insomnia." Has separate chapters
on "High Anxiety," "Mind Matters," and others.

Title: How to Cope with Depression - A Complete Guide for You and Your
Author: J. Raymond DePaulo, Jr. M.D. and Keith Russel Ablow, M.D.
Publisher/Year: Ballantine Books; 1989
ISBN: 0-449-21930-5

Title: Impressive Depressives
Author: Peter Nolan Lawrence
Publisher/Year: 1994
ISBN: 0-95-22806-04
Comments: The author is bipolar, himself. Lawrence cites 75 bipolar
people including Bach, Beethoven, Rossini, JMW Turner, Dumas,
Shelley, Byron, Lincoln, Edison and the author himself. Published
in aid of the (U.K.) Manic Depression Fellowship.

Title: Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life
Author: D. Jablow Hershman & Julian Lieb
Publisher/Year: Prometheus, 1988
Comments: A discussion of imagination, manic depression, and a few famous
people of the past as examples.

Title: Listening To Prozac
Author: Peter D. Kramer, M.D.
Publisher/Year: Viking; 1993
ISBN: 0-670-84183-8
Comments: A psychiatrist explores some of the implications of anti-
depressants, and especially of Prozac's unusual effects on
the personality. Kramer also discusses the recent research
on depression, as well as several other issues which seem
linked to depression.

Title: Lithium Encyclopedia for Clinical Practice
Authors: J.W. Jefferson, J.H. Geist, D.L. Ackerman, J.A. Carroll
Publisher/Year: American Psychiatric Press, Inc., Washington, DC
Comments: This book addresses the action of lithium, its interaction
with other drugs, its effects on other conditions, side
effects, and practical advice for use.

Title: The Looney Bin Trip
Author: Kate Millett
Publisher/Year: Simon and Schuster, NY, 1990
ISBN: 0-671-67930-9
Comments: Miller is manic depressive. She writes of her experiences in
mental hospitals in the U.S. and Ireland, and of her life in
setting up a woman's cooperative. Controversial reading.

Title: Lost Puritan: A Life of Robert Lowell
Author: Paul Mariani
Publisher/Year: W.W. Norton & Co., NY, 1994
ISBN: 0-393-03661-8
Comments: A very readable biography of Robert Lowell, poet, using
hundreds of Lowell's unpublished manuscripts and letters, and
dozens of interviews. Fully covers Lowell's manic depressive
episodes and how they affected his life. Also gives a window
into treatment of manic depression in the 1950s and 60s.

Title: Manic Depression: Illness or Awakening
Author: Robert E. Kelly
Publisher/Year: Knowledge Unlimited Publishers, 1995

Title: Manic-Depressive Illness
Author: Fredrick K. Goodwin, M.D., & Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.
Publisher/Year: Oxford; 1990
ISBN: 0-195-03934-3
Comments: This is THE medical textbook for manic depression. It is
technical, but excellent. Highly recommended.

Title: Medicine and Mental Illness; the Use of Drugs in Psychiatry
Authors: Marvin E. Lickey and Barbara Gordon
Publisher/Year: W.H. Freeman & Co., NY, 1991
ISBN: 0-7167-2196-1 (soft)
Comments: Provides an overview of drug therapies for varying forms
of mental illness.

Title: Mind, Mood, and Medicine: A Guide to the New Biopsychiatry
Author: Paul H. Wender, and Donald F. Klein
Publisher/Year: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, Pub., 1981
Comments: Non-technical, goes into the biological bases of psychiatric
illnesses, and also treatments (as of 1981).

Title: Moodswing
Author: Ronald Fieve
Publisher/Year: Bantam Books, 1989 (Revised)
ISBN: 0-553-27983-1
Comments: A "classic." Contains information and anecdotal stories about
depressives and manic depressives; by the individual who spearheaded
lithium therapy.

Title: 9 Highland Road
Author: Michael Winerup
Publisher/Year: Pantheon Books, 1994
ISBN: 0-679-40724-3
Comments: (jacket notes) "An unprecedented and riveting account of
the life and lives of a group home for the mentally ill: the
residents, their families, and the counselors, social workers,
and psychologists which whom they work." Includes struggles
with illnesses plus the struggle with bureaucracies in
keeping the home alive. Excellent book for those interested in
patient advocacy.

Title: On the Edge of Darkness: Conversations about Conquering
Author: Kathy Cronkite
Publisher/Year: Doubleday; 1994
ISBN: 0-385-42194-X
Comments: Features a variety of personal stories about unipolar
and bipolar disorder, including those of some famous, living

Title: Overcoming Depression
Author: Dimitri F. and Janice Papolos
Publisher/Year: Harper-Perennial; 1992. (revised)
ISBN: 0-060-96594-0 (paper)
Comments: Good basic text on the various aspects of depression and
manic/depression. Considered by some to be a "classic" in
the field.

Title: Physicians' Desk Reference, 49th Edition (also in paperback, in
condensed version)
Medical Consultant: Arky, Ronald, M.D.
Comments: The standard guide to prescription drugs for physicians.
Usually referred to as "The PDR."

An expensive, but worthwhile investment for anyone who's ever been
told that ANY drug is "perfectly safe" or "without side-effects".
Cross-indexed by manufacturers brand names, generic names, product
identification guide, product information, and diagnostic
information. A "must-have" for anyone who wishes to be an informed

Title: The Pill Book
Editor: Lawrence Chilnick (editor)
Publisher/Year: Bantam Books, NY; (6th Edition, paperback)
ISBN: 0-553-29463-6
Comments: An illustrated guide to the most-prescribed drugs in the
United States. Invaluable resource. Unlike the PDR, where the
information is supplied by drug manufacturers, The Pill Book
has been compiled by an independent panel of doctors and

Title: Questions and Answers about Depression and its Treatment
Author: Dr. Ivan Goldberg
Publisher/Year: The Charles Press; 1993.
ISBN: ISBN 0-914783-68-8
Comments: A 112 page FAQ on depression & manic depression. Covers all
aspects. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. If your bookstore doesn't have
this one, ask them to order it.

Title: Receptors
Author: Richard M. Restak, M.D.
Publisher/Year: Bantam Books, NY; 1994
Comments: "The author is an M.D. who also suffers from unipolar depression.
Although he's not anti-med, he doesn't claim that medications
will solve everything either. He writes about how our
neurological receptors work and about how they affect how we
feel. Although the book is detailed, it's not so technical that
you need a PhD to understand what he's saying. He provides a history
of how the different receptors were discovered, and also discusses
how alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, heroin, cocaine, and prescription
drugs effect us. One chapter is devoted to the discovery of lithium
and discusses how it is used to treat people with manic depression."

Title: This for Remembrance; The Autobiography of Rosemary
Author: Rosemary Clooney, with Raymond Strait
Publisher/Date: Simon & Schuster, NY, 1977
ISBN: 0-671-16976-9
Comments: Clooney is bipolar; the first three chapters detail the manic
episode which led to her hospitalization.

Title: Touched with Fire: Manic-depressive Illness and the Artistic
Author: Kay Redfield Jamison
Publisher/Year: Free Press: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1993.
ISBN: 0-0291-6030-8 (cloth) 0-060-96594-0 (paper)
Comments: A look at a number of 19th century poets, writers, and
composers who were bipolar. Comment by Dr. James D. Watson,
Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Novel laureate
and author of The Double Helix: "An emphatic analysis of
the creativity that emerges from a little madness and the
horror from too much." Highly recommended.

Title: True North: A Memoir
Author: Jill Ker Conway
Publisher/Year: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994
ISBN: 0-679-42099-1
Comments: A memoir that includes, in part, her learning to cope with
her husband's manic-depressive disorder.

Title: Understanding Depression
Author: Donald Klein, M.D., and Paul Wender, M.D. (founders of the
National Assn. for Depressive Illness)
Publisher/Year: Oxford; 1993
ISBN: 0-195-08669-4
Comments: Melvin Sabshin, M.D., Medical Director, American Psychiatric
Assn. writes: "A very good source of information that will
be extraordinarily useful to patients and their families."

Title: An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
Author: Kay Jamison
Publisher/Year: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995
ISBN: 0-679-44374-6
Comments: Kay Jamison's autobiography. Jamison, a renowned and respected
researcher in the field of manic depression, is bipolar. This
small book is easily readable and recommended.

Title: Waking Up, Alive
Author: Richard Heckler
Comments: A recommended book about the subject of suicide.

Title: The Way Up From Down
Author: Priscilla Slagle, M.D.
Publisher/Year: NA
ISBN: 0-312-92914-5
Comments: It stresses a nutritional approach heavy on the amino acid
tyrosine, and a complete vitamin supplement program. May work for
people with less difficult forms of depression.

Title: We Heard the Angels of Madness: One Family's Struggle with
Manic Depression
Authors: Diane and Lisa Berger
Publisher/Year: Morrow, 1991
ISBN: 0-688-09178-4
Comments: Forwarded by Alexander Vuckovic, M.D. Written by a
mother who had a son stricken by manic-depression at 19 and
the rough road they walked to get him the help he needed.

Title: What to do During Depression: A Reason to Live
Author: Melody Beattie (General Editor).
Publisher/Year: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; 1992.
ISBN: 0-8423-0988-8
Comments: This is a book that explores reasons to live and reasons not
to commit suicide. It also contains suggestions for life-
affirming actions people can take to help themselves get
through those times when they're struggling to find a reason
to live.

Title: What You Need to Know About Psychiatric Drugs
Author: Stuart C. Yudofsky,M.D.; Robert E. Hales,M.D.; and Tom
Publisher/Year: Ballantine; 1991
ISBN: 0-345-37334-0

Title: When the Blues Won't Go Away
Author: Robert Hirschfeld, M.D.
Publisher/Year: 1991
ISBN: 0-025-51825-9
Comments: Concerns new approaches to Dysthymic Disorder and other
forms of chronic low-grade depression.

Title: Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder and How to Overcome
Author: Norman Rosenthal, M.D.
Publisher/Year: The Guilfold Press; 1993
ISBN: 0-898-62149-6

Title: X Ray
Author: Ray Davies
Publisher/Year: 1995
Comments: Tells Ray Davies own tales of his life up through the early
1970s. It is done in a semi-fictional style. Davies, a founding
member of the English band The Kinks, is openly manic-depressive.

Title: You Are Not Alone
Author: Julia Thorne with Larry Rothstein
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins; 1993
ISBN: 0-060-96977-6
Comments: The writings of depressives, for both depressives and those
who need to understand them. Shervert Frazier, M.D., former
director of the National Institutes of Mental Health says:
"A ground breaking book that...reveals the impact of
depression on the lives of everyday people. This little book
is must reading for sufferers, those associated with
depression, and mental health professionals"

Title: You Mean I Don't Have To Feel This Way?
Author: Collette Dowling
Publisher/Year: Bantam Books; 1993
ISBN: 0-553-37169-X
Comments: Jeffrey M. Jonas, M.D. writes: "An important book that is
filled with information helpful to sufferers of mood and
eating disorders and other illnesses. It should be read not
only by lay people but also by professionals who deal with
these illnesses."






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