Bipolar, not so much Understanding your mood swings and depression

Chris Aiken, 1974-

Book - 2017

"Approaching depression as a complex disorder with many different facets rather than all-or-nothing,"

Saved in:

2nd Floor Show me where

1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 616.895/Aiken Checked In
New York : W.W. Norton & Company [2017]
First edition
Physical Description
xiv, 352 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
Chris Aiken, 1974- (author)
Other Authors
James Phelps, 1953- (author)
  • Part one: What type of depression do you have?
  • Understanding the mood spectrum
  • The down side: depression
  • The up side: from hypomania to mania, and everything in-between
  • The mixed-up side: when mania and depression collide
  • A little bipolar? How much?
  • About your diagnosis
  • Is it all in the genes?
  • The living side: finding normal
  • Part two: A healing lifestyle
  • Daily rhythms
  • Light and dark
  • Managing insomnia
  • Getting active
  • Exercise? How about just walking
  • Diet
  • Managing substances
  • Coming soon: bipolar and technology
  • Part three: Treatment
  • The right stuff: how to find good care
  • Medications: our top choices
  • Mood-lifting stabilizers: the full details
  • Antidepressants and other mood destabilizers
  • Medications for breakthrough episodes
  • Anxiety, concentration, and sleep: the other poles of bipolar
  • Natural healers
  • Knowing when to stop medications
  • Live long and minimize side effects
  • Beyond medication: electricity, magnets, and depression
  • Good therapy
  • Part four: reclaiming your life
  • Relationships
  • Work and school
  • For friends and family.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Aiken (director, Mood Treatment Ctr.) and Phelps (director, Samaritan Mental Health; A Spectrum Approach to Mood Disorders) present an easy-to-read analysis of bipolar spectrum disorder. The authors clarify the spectrum from unipolar (depression without mania) to bipolar (mania with or without depression). Their focus is on a form of depression that falls somewhere in between these two extremes, settling on the term depression with bipolarity or bipolarity. This work is filled with pragmatic, valuable information that helps readers figure out where they may be on the disorder spectrum, explains various symptoms of the disorder, provides handy self-diagnostic tests, and offers tips to assist readers in connecting with their physician. The treatment section includes how to find good care, the latest information on medications, top choices for treatment, explanations of each of the primary groups of medications, natural healing agents, knowing when medications can be discontinued, information on therapy that can support long-term wellness, and an important discussion on the impact of the disorder on family, work, and school relationships. VERDICT A remarkable addition to the growing genre of mental health disorders and treatment that relates to the reality of how many patients with a mood disorder do not necessarily fit one end or another of the disorder spectrum.—Dale Farris, Groves, TX Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Explains how the concept of depression is being reexamined and better understood and helps readers determine what kind of depression they have and understand the treatments currently available.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Explains how the concept of depression is being reexamined and better understood to be the combined sum of a wide variety of problems and helps readers determine what kind of depression they have and understand the medical and alternative treatments currently available.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In this guide for general readers, two doctors use plain language and realistic case studies to explain the concept that mood disorders exist on a spectrum from mild to severe. The book is geared especially to readers who are suffer from hypomania, mania, depression, and mixed states in middle of the spectrum, rather than those at the extreme end of bipolar disorder. Of special interest is ample information on pros and cons of conventional prescription psychiatric medications. The book explains how and why prescriptions treatments can go wrong or stop working and offers separate chapters on different types of medications: mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and medications for breakthrough episodes. One chapter is devoted to minimizing side effects, and one chapter is devoted to knowing when to stop medications. The book also offers advice on diet, sleep, and exercise, supplements, alternative treatments such as magnets, and devices such as blue-light filters and dawn simulators. There are also tips on relationships, work, and school, plus a chapter written for friends and family. About 20 pages of appendices offer a medication glossary, online resources, support groups, and a list of further reading. Author Chris Aiken directs the Mood Treatment Center in North Carolina. Author James Phelps is a psychiatric care consultant who has a nonprofit web site called Phelps is the author of A Spectrum Approach to Mood Disorders. Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Depression confuses the mind, strips away hope, and causes people to blame themselves for an illness they never asked for. This book presents a revolutionary new understanding of the concept of depression and offers readers skills and strategies to manage it. No longer is this a one-size-fits-all diagnosis, and antidepressants are no longer the one-size-fits-all treatment. Mood disorders are now seen to form a spectrum of problems, from common depression on one end to full bipolar disorder on the other. In between these extremes are multitudes of people who are on the middle of the mood spectrum, and this book is for them.The first part of the book helps readers answer the question, “Where am I on the mood spectrum?” By laying the foundation for understanding this spectrum, Aiken and Phelps highlight the key distinctions that define unipolarity, bipolarity, hypomania, mania, and depression. Readers will be able to discern which definition best fits their experience, and use this understanding to learn which treatment methods will work best. The authors also empower readers to look beyond antidepressants. They walk readers through new medications for the mood spectrum, and offer a guide to non-medication treatments that anyone can use on their own, from diet and lifestyle changes to natural supplements. The book also discusses other innovative technologies that can aid in recovery, including dawn simulators, mood apps, and blue-light filters. This thoughtful and beneficial book will offer readers skills and strategies, as well as hope, in the face of debilitating mental challenges.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Approaching depression as acomplex disorder with many differentfacets rather than all-or-nothing.