Books About Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar Disorder, or manic-depression as it is sometimes called, is a serious mental illness. With various portrayals, in movies and books, it is now fairly well-known to the public. From artists such as Jackson Pollock and Vincent Van Gogh; writers like Edgar Allan Poe and Virginia Woolf; musicians like Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain; multitudes of celebrities and actors; along with an estimated 60 million people, bipolar disorder is a major health concern. The size of the problem, the speculated link with creativity and the tragedies and victories of a life with bipolar has led to a preponderance of books about bipolar disorder.

  1. An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison: As a psychiatrist herself, this memoir combines the raw honesty of a memoir with her scientific knowledge to produce one of the most definitive books written on bipolar disorder.
  2. Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher: After battling and defeating an eating disorder, at the age of 24, the author is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In this book, she chronicles the struggles, the ups and the downs, her fight to keep her marriage intact and how she battles the madness within.
  3. Manic: A Memoirby Terri Cheney: Instead of explaining life with bipolar disorder, Cheney’s gripping writing and narrative style draws the reader into her life. The book is the life story of a successful entertainment lawyer battling debilitating bipolar disorder as she tries to navigate her way through disorienting manic episodes, and paralyzing depression.
  4. The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know by David J. Mikolwitz: Often described as a must-read book for those suffering from bipolar disorder and their loved ones, this non-fiction answers the many questions that arise after diagnosis and through the life-long journey of recovery.
  5. Em and the Big Hoom: A Novel by Jerry Pinto: The book, told from the viewpoint of a young narrator, if about his mother and father who he calls Em and Big Hoom respectively. The book, partly funny and partly profound, revolves around “Em’s” bipolar disorder.
  6. Detour: My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D by Lizzie Simon: After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 and trying to find recovery and moved by the stigma in society, Lizzie Simon goes on a road-trip to find successful people living with bipolar disorder. This book is about her trip and the people she spoke to.
  7. Scattershot: My Bipolar Familyby David Lovelace: In this humorous and poignant but ultimately loving book, the author introspects about his family, many of whom suffer from bipolar disorder. A rollercoaster of a book, it will leave you with a feeling of hope and warmth.
  8. I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolarby Wendy K. Williamson: In this book, the author shares with the reader her experience with bipolar disorder—her initial denial when diagnosed, her reluctance acceptance, the exhilarating but damaging mania, the despair, treatment and finally her road to the ability to live with her illness.
  9. Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bipolar but were Too Freaked Out to Ask by Hilary T. Smith: Bipolar disorder is a serious topic but the right kind of humor can lighten the mood. This book addresses the questions that no one wants to ask and everyone (those with bipolar disorder and their loved ones) has in an honest, humorous but still respectful way.
  10. My Kind of Crazy: Living in a Bipolar Worldby Janine Crowley Haynes: Every bipolar story is different. This one, written in an endearingly self-deprecating style tells the tale of hospitalizations, suicide attempts, finding humor in the strangest places and finding hope in the darkest times.

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