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Bipolar Disorder
By Francis Mark Mondimore

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Bipolar Disorder
A Guide for Patients and Families

By Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D.
A John Hopkins Press Health Book
The John Hopkins University Press: Large Print Edition, (2004)
ISBN: 0-8018-7857-8
Genre: Health

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - March 19, 2004

Part of the John Hopkins Press Health Book series, Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families, by Dr. Francis Mark Mondimore is a concise guide to Bipolar disorders. Written in a nontechnical jargon, this guide is ideal for patients and their families who wish to gain an understanding of bipolar disorders. In this guide, Mondimore, who is a psychiatrist, provides information on the various types of bipolar disorders, the symptoms associated with each form, how they are diagnosed, and the available treatment options. He also offers advice on how to live with the disorder, and how not to become its victim.

The text is divided into four thematic sections:
  1. Symptoms, Syndromes, and Diagnosis
    This section describes the difference between normal and abnormal moods; the definition of what depression actually is, and an overview of how bipolar disorder is diagnosed and the various diagnostic categories of the disorder.

  2. Treatment
    In the treatment section, Mondimore details current treatment methods and strategies, including electroconvulsive therapy, counseling, psychotherapy, mood-stabilizing medication, antidepressant medications, antipsychotic mediation, hormones, and herbal treatments. This section also includes a discussion on how the brain works, and how the various treatments affect the brain.

  3. Variations, Causes, and Connections
    This is a catch-all section that discusses topics such as pediatric bipolar disorder, special considerations to take into account with Woman with bipolar disorder, and the impact of alcoholism and drug abuse on causing or contributing to the disorder. Also included in this section is a discussion on seasonal affective disorder, chronobiology, bipolar biology, bipolarism and creativity, and the genetics of the illness.

  4. Getting Better and Staying Well
    Perhaps the most important section of this entire book, Getting Better and Staying Well provides insightful information on how to live with the disease and the steps you can take to help keep your 'moods' in check. Mondimore also discusses the need to plan for emergencies and he offers advice on the role that family members can play in a patients treatment and in helping them live with the disorder.
The main text is enhanced by the inclusion of a list of resources that includes a suggested reading list, a list of support and advocacy organizations, and a list of internet resources that you can consult for more advice. The text also includes extensive endnotes that can be used as resource for those wishing to delve into more technical information on bipolar disorder.

Once known as manic-depression, bipolar disorder is a psychiatric illness. It can be treated, and as Mondimore clearly points out in this book, it is possible to lead a relatively normal life, with proper care. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of Bipolar disorder, practical tips on how to deal with the illness, and realistic insights into what it is like to live with the disorder. Throughout Mondimore has provided real life stories that illustrate how others have dealt with the illness. It is essential reading for anyone with a bipolar disorder, and for their family members. The information provided in this text will enable you to take an active and informed role in your own care and will provide you with the tools needed to deal with it.

This large print edition of Mondimore's Bipolar Disorder contains the full text of the standard print edition, including all the same illustrations, figures, and tables.

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