Bipolar and Depression Book List

Patient Handbooks

*Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families†
Francis Mark Mondimore
An excellent guide to the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and causes of bipolar disorder written for patients and their families. This is the book I most highly recommend.

*The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide†
David J. Miklowitz
Focuses on issues exclusive to the bipolar patient. It deals with how to come to terms with the diagnosis, whom to confide in, and how to recognize one's own mood swings. It discusses techniques for self-management and concludes with a discussion of the effect on the family and on work situations. I highly recommend this book.

*Surviving Manic Depression: A Manual on Bipolar Disorder for Patients, Families and Providers†
Fuller Torrey and Michael B. Knable
An excellent, informative, and very readable book on bipolar disorder. It presents the facts of the disorder that are well established by scientific evidence. The discussion of modern drugs is thorough. Practical issues such as finding a good doctor and insurance issues (in the United States) are covered. The appendix features an excellent book review. I highly recommend this book.

Overcoming Depression†
Demitri F. Papolos, Janice Papolos
Good coverage of treatments and practical aspects of care for both unipolar and bipolar depression. It also includes a frank discussion of psychiatric therapy in the era of managed care.

Depression: The Mood Disease†
Francis Mark Mondimore
A readable, informative, consumer's guide to depression, though less detailed than "Overcoming Depression" by Demitri and Janice Papolos.

New Hope for People With Bipolar Disorder
Jan Fawcett, Bernard Golden, Nancy Rosenfeld
This book covers a wide range of topics but not to any great depth. There is an introduction to cognitive behavior therapy, a chapter on childhood and adolescent bipolar illness, and also one on living with people with bipolar disorder. The book is a reasonable introduction to bipolar disorder but I prefer the books by Mondimore and Miklowitz.

Bipolar Puzzle Solution: A Mental Health Client's Perspective
Bryan L. Court, Gerald E. Nelson
All of the questions that were asked in one particular bipolar support group were written down, with answers, and published in this book. The author's personal struggle with the disorder comes through clearly. Overall the book presents an unusual mix of personal experience and practical advice aimed at patients and those who support them.

Living Without Depression and Manic Depression: A Workbook for Maintaining Mood Stability
Mary Ellen Copeland
A self-help workbook to supplement treatment programs providing encouragement for self-advocacy and including recommendations for support and self-help therapy. Focused mostly on depression and fairly light on discussion of medications.

The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living With Depression and Manic Depression
Mary Ellen Copeland
A self-help workbook for those newly diagnosed or experiencing moderate problems with depression or bipolar disorder. Oversells psychotherapy and is fairly light on discussion of medications.

Restoring Intimacy: The Patient's Guide to Maintaining Relationships During Depression
National DMDA Staff
"Restoring Intimacy is an important contribution to our understanding of depression. Experts provide direct, helpful, and straightforward answers to frequently asked, but seldom answered questions about the impact of depressive illnesses on personal relationships."—Kay Redfield Jamison

Moodswing: Dr Fieve on Depression†
Ronald R. Fieve
One of the first books written for the lay reader. Written by a pioneer in the treatment of manic depression, this book is now somewhat out of date, even in the second revised edition.

Why Am I Up, Why Am I Down?: Understanding Bipolar Disorder
Roger Granet, Elizabeth Ferber
This sensitive, authoritative guide explains the challenging nature of bipolar disorder and how to get the right kind of treatment to minimize or prevent future episodes of this devastating illness.

Adult Bipolar Disorders: Understanding Your Diagnosis and Getting Help
Mitzi Waltz
This book describes the range of bipolar disorders, considers their impact on family life, and offers advice on treatment, support, insurance, and employment. It also explains diagnoses and provides details on therapy, medication, and other interventions.

Electroshock: Restoring the Mind
M. D. Max Fink
A useful book for anyone considering Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT). It gives a thorough discussion of the procedure and an extensive discussion of the controversies that surround it. The author argues argues that electroshock therapy is now a safe, effective, painless, and sometimes life-saving treatment for emotional and mental disorders.

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
David D. Burns
This book presents cognitive behavioral therapy, a highly successful, clinically proven, drug-free treatment for depression.

Understanding Depression: What We Know and What You Can Do About It
J. Raymond DePaulo, Leslie Alan Horvitz
From a leading medical expert at Johns Hopkins, here is a definitive guide to what's known about depression: its nature, causes, effects, and treatment. Examines the full range of proven therapies, both mainstream and alternative, that are currently available.

Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You
Richard O'Connor
An excellent book. The author is a therapist who also suffers depression. O'Connor takes a very practical, problem-solving approach and has a rare insight into the behavioral effects of depression which may persist after the depression itself is relieved. The section on choosing a therapist is a good example of the author's pragmatic attitude and by itself would be worth the price of the book.

The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self†
Alice Miller
This book has been recommended to me by almost every therapist I have worked with. It shows how narcissistic parents form and deform the lives of their children. The author, a German psychotherapist, writes with a very compassionate and convincing voice.

Depression: Questions You Have — Answers You Need†
Sandra Salmans
Written in a clear questions-and-answer format, this is a comprehensive lay reader's handbook on depression.

Making The Antidepressant Decision†
Carol Turkington, Eliot F. Kaplan
Previously published as "Making the Prozac Decision," this edition focuses on the most recent developments in treating depression and other disorders with medications. It is an honest, invaluable examination of a controversial subject that will help you make the right decision for you or your loved one.

The Depression Book: Depression As an Opportunity for Spiritual Growth
Cheri Huber
A quasi-humorous book on depression! Written by a teacher at the Practice of Zen Buddhism Meditation in our very own Mountain View, it has whimsical diagrams and font. A bit playful, and full of Buddhist wisdom, it talks about meditation as a help for depression.

Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide†
Kay Redfield Jamison
Jamison explores the complex psychology of suicide, especially in people younger than 40: why it occurs, why it is one of our most significant health problems, and how it can be prevented. Not easy reading, either in subject or style, but you'll understand suicide better and be jolted by the intensity of depression that drives young people to it.

Choosing to Live: How to Defeat Suicide Through Cognitive Therapy
Thomas E. Ellis, Cory F. Newman
As a person who has been suicidal for fifteen years, I find this book to be a godsend. It has many useful suggestions, including how to survive the suicidal impulse, and how to create a meaningful life. If you have a problem with suicidality, please get this book. It is extremely helpful and straightforward.

The Savage God: A Study of Suicide
Alfred. Alvarez
A well-written study of suicide by a poet and literary critic with personal experience of his subject. It was originally published in 1971 before much of the medical and biological causes of suicide were understood.

Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder
Marsha M. Linehan
Dr. Linehan teaches many ways of coping with emotionally overwhelming situations. The workbook teaches a lot of coping skills. It's like having a huge toolbox filled with tools that you can use to deal with stressful situations.

Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation†
Steven Levenkron
Cutting takes the reader through the psychological experience of the person who seeks relief from mental pain and anguish in self-inflicted physical pain. Written for the self-mutilator, parents, friends, and therapists, Levenkron explains why the disorder manifests in self-harming behaviors and, most of all, describes how the self-mutilator can be helped.

When Words Are Not Enough†
Valerie Davis Raskin
Emphasizing women's family roles as well as their unique biological/hormonal sensitivities, Dr. Raskin explains contemporary integrated treatment options. Raskin pays special attention to how birth control, menstrual cycles, childbearing, and menopause impact treatment choices. Raskin empowers women to take an active approach in dealing with common side effects, including weight gain and diminished sexual responsiveness. Using revealing case studies, Raskin offers a wealth of hands-on advice.

Women's Moods: What Every Woman Must Know About Hormones, the Brain, and Emotional Health†
Deborah Sichel, Jeanne Watson Driscoll
Sichel, a psychiatrist, and Driscoll, a nurse, have created a book that specializes on mental health issues in conjunction with hormonal changes during menstrual cycles, adolescence, post-partum depression and psychosis, and menopause.

Essential Guide to Psychiatric Drugs
Jack M. Gorman
A general guide to psychiatric drugs. It contains a detailed description of each drug used to treat serious mental illnesses including their uses, side-effects, cost, dosage, and more.

Consumer's Guide to Psychiatric Drugs
John D. Preston, John H. O'Neal, Mary C. Talaga
A comprehensive overview for consumers of the current medical treatments for anxiety, mood, and psychotic disorders. It discusses diagnostic issues, biology of mental illness, drug-drug interactions, and addiction potentials.

Personal Memoirs: Bipolar

*An Unquiet Mind†
Kay Redfield Jamison
This is the classic autobiography of bipolar disorder written by a professor of psychiatry who is herself bipolar. With breathtaking honesty Jamison tells of her own manic depression, the bitter costs of her illness, and its paradoxical benefits. This is one of the best scientific autobiographies ever written, a combination of clarity, truth, and insight into human character.

A Brilliant Madness: Living With Manic-Depressive Illness
Patty Duke
Duke tells the story of her manic-depressive illness and its successful treatment, while in alternating chapters science writer Hochman explains the facts of the disease and the methods of treatment available at the time. Duke shows bravery in telling her story in all its humiliating flagrance. Well written and easy to read.

The Years of Silence are Past: My Father's Life with Bipolar Disorder
Stephen P. Hinshaw
A powerful account of what it is to be the son of a man who lost not only his way, but his mind as well. Professor Hinshaw has written a compelling book about fathers and sons, madness, and the intolerance of society and the academic and medical communities.

Detour: My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D†
Lizzie Simon
Simon writes of her life with bipolar disorder. She put aside her career in order to travel around the country interviewing other people afflicted with bipolar disorder.

The Naked Bird Watcher
Suzy Johnston
"This is a personal, poignant and poetic story of Recovery. Suzy teaches us about determination, patience and perseverance. She inspires people to continue living their lives while learning to manage a mental illness."
Christine Gayler, Boston University

Neural Misfire: A True Story of Manic-Depression
Jeff D. Kazmierczak
This book is written in the unusual format of a novel based on a true story. It gives a continuous story, which describes the protagonist's path from the early symptoms of depression, to mania, and finally his initial treatment.

Bipolar Disorder: Rebuilding Your Life
James T. Stout
Reverend Stout's battle with bipolar disorder. Other memoirs are more comprehensive or better written. Stout's book, however, will be helpful to Christians confronting mental illness directly or indirectly.

Journey Not Chosen...Destination Not Known: Living With Bipolar Disorder
Mary Worthen
A fairly enjoyable, quick read about battling bipolar disorder. The quality of writing is good and the story inspires empathy in the reader though it may have a little too much of God in it for those lacking a religious faith.

Win The Battle, The 3-Step Lifesaving Formula to Conquer Depression and Bipolar Disorder
Bob Olson
Based on the author's personal recovery experience, this book provides hope for patients who want to end months or years of suffering by following the right path.

Personal Memoirs: Depression

*Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness†
William Styron
A chilling account of his descent into, and recovery from, an almost suicidal depression by a Pulitzer prizewinning author. A national bestseller.

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression†
Andrew Solomon
The Noonday Demon forges a long, brambly path through the subject of depression-exposing all the discordant views and 'answers' offered by science, philosophy, law, psychology, literature, art, and history. The result is a sprawling and thoroughly engrossing study, brilliantly synthesized by author Andrew Solomon.

Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America: A Memoir
Elizabeth Wurtzel
Painful, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, Prozac Nation is Elizabeth Wurtzel's catharsis-a cry of rage at the chronic depression which has dominated most of her young life. A powerful portrait of one girl's journey through the purgatory of depression.

Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface
Martha Manning
This powerfully gripping account of a therapist's reckoning with her own severe depression is a breathtaking gem of a book, heartrending, hilarious, extraordinarily human.

The Beast: A Journey Through Depression
Tracy Thompson
In an eloquent, unflinchingly honest autobiography, a journalist recounts her struggle with depression, which culminated in a terrifying bout with suicide, and her search for an understanding of and a cure for it.

Standing In the Shadows: Understanding and Overcoming Depression in Black Men
John Head
Head, a veteran journalist and a success by any objective standard, shares his 25-year struggle with depression within the context of the kinds of social and cultural forces that can cause depression in black men and, at the same time, discourage acknowledgment or treatment of that depression.

Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman's Journey Through Depression
Meri Nana-Ama Danquah
The author, a black single mother and Ghanian-born immigrant, has battled melancholy and despair, culminating in episodes of overwhelming depression. In this brutally painful memoir she reveals how her illness began, how it progressed to the point where she couldn't function, and how she finally got the support she needed to help combat it.

Skin Game
Caroline Kettlewell
A memoir of self-mutilation by a woman who grew up cutting herself with razors in an attempt to relieve the depression and anxiety she felt.

Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression
Nell Casey
This is a collection of modern essays about depression by writers who know their subject intimately. William Styron's excerpt and his wife's contribution demonstrate a wonderful partnership - a good role model for friends and family in the wife and a classic sufferer of depression in the husband.

Family Members and Support Givers

Surviving the Crisis of Depression & Bipolar (Manic-Depression) Illness
Mark A. Halebsky
The book is useful for family members, friends, and significant others, and persons concerned with the mentally ill. It provides practical approaches and specific techniques, which can be used in the everyday management of depression and bipolar disorder.

When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness: A Handbook for Family, Friends, and Caregivers†
Rebecca Woolis
A quick reference book full of practical advice on dealing with situations that arise in caring for a loved one with a severe mental illness.

What Goes Up... Surviving the Manic Episode of a Loved One
Judy Eron
The author tells the story of her husband's year-long manic episode and finally his depression and suicide. With the benefit of hindsight she points out errors and how she might have handled things better.
Author's website

Manic Depression: How to Live While Loving a Manic Depressive
Lynn Bradley
Describes what it is like to live with a bipolar husband. Offers ways to cope with a spouse with bipolar disorder and strategies to care for oneself.

Helping Someone with Mental Illness: A Compassionate Guide for Family, Friends, and Caregivers†
Rosalynn Carter, Susan K. Golant
The author manages to weave the deeply moving stories of many individuals into a cleanly organized discussion of every salient issue: diagnosis, treatment, research, stigma, and advocacy. Her descriptions of the different mental illnesses—schizophrenia, depression, bipolar illness, and the anxiety disorders—are particularly cogent. She delivers her message with warmth, clarity, and candor.

We Heard the Angels of Madness: A Family Guide to Coping With Manic Depression
Diane Berger, Alexander Vuckovic
A well written book giving the story of a young man who developed bipolar disorder at age 19. It features the juxtaposition of the son's recollections of his hallucinations and the mothers account of what the family was observing. The family's difficulties with incompetent psychiatrists are also presented.

When Someone You Love Is Depressed: How to Help Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself
Laura Epstein Rosen, Xavier F. Amador
One of the best of many books written for those suffering from depression. Rosen's work is not as much about the causes and symptoms of depression as about how depression affects relationships. The author's ultimate goal is to help readers learn strategies to counter interaction problems, and she succeeds in this attempt.

I am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!
Xavier Amador
First, Dr. Amador establishes that most denials of treatment are but manifestations of the illness and that it is the illness that is the enemy. He then presents a powerful game plan for penetrating sickness induced lack of insight that will maximize the cooperation with treatment of those affected.

Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner
Julie A. Fast, John D. Preston
Fast is a health writer, Preston a clinical psychologist, both are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The book is written to the partner of someone with bipolar disorder and designed to mend strained relationships. Through the tools offered in the book, readers learn how to control episodic crises and discover how to create a loving, healthy, and supportive relationship with a person who has bipolar disorder.

Daughter of the Queen of Sheba: A Memoir†
Jacki Lyden
Black humor alternates with almost unbearable pathos in National Public Radio journalist Jacki Lyden's memoir of her mother's manic-depressive episodes. In so vividly capturing both the horror of her mother's illness and the seductive, transporting power of her insanity—its energy, its dazzling boldness—Lyden communicates one of the most elusive lessons of adulthood: how it's possible to love a parent not just in spite of her or his flaws but also because of them.

How to Live With a Mentally Ill Person: A Handbook of Day-To-Day Strategies†
Christine Adamec
A how-to book of practical advice by a professional writer who has a daughter with schizophrenia. The author emphasizes the importance of accepting the illness and moving on. She offers advice on making sure the patient takes prescribed medication; handling public outbursts; obtaining financial aid; working with institutional systems; and much more.

The Caring Family: Living With Chronic Mental Illness†
Kayla F. Bernheim, Richard R. J. Lewine, Caroline T. Beale
One of the first books written for family members caring for a loved one with severe mental illness. The authors discuss common reactions such as guilt, shame, anger and despair and offer suggestions for dealing with them. They also focus on individual and family dynamics that result from the illness.

Surviving Mental Illness: Stress, Coping, and Adaptation
Agnes B. Hatfield, Harriet P. Lefley, John S. Strauss
In this vivid personal account of the aftermath of her son's suicide, Chance shares her pain, guilt, and anger, her expertise as a psychiatrist, and her methods for healing.

The Burden of Sympathy: How Families Cope With Mental Illness
David Allen Karp
Working from sixty extensive interviews, the author reveals striking similarities in the experiences of caregivers: the feelings of shame, fear, guilt and powerlessness in the face of a socially stigmatized illness; the frustration of navigating the complex network of bureaucracies that govern the mental health system; and most of all, the difficulty negotiating an "appropriate" level of involvement with the mentally ill loved one while maintaining enough distance for personal health. The book gives an insightful, deeply caring look at mental illness and captures the essence of caring and caregivers.

How to Cope With Mental Illness in Your Family: A Self-Care Guide for Siblings, Offspring, and Parents
Diane T. Marsh, Rex M. Dickens
An excellent book on self-help and coping skills for those with severe mental illness in the family. The authors are long time members of NAMI and this book is a synthesis of what they have been told by hundreds of family members.

The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child: A Survival Guide for Parents
J. Lederman, C. Fink
Written by the parent of a child with bipolar disorder with the assistance of a psychiatrist this book gives parents the sound advice and expert information they need to cope with this challenging diagnosis. It shows how to provide essential care and support for a bipolar child as well as for the rest of the family and offers tips such as coping with teens who get into legal trouble and talking to siblings about the child's illness.

How You Can Survive When They're Depressed†
Anne Sheffield
"Depression fallout" is the emotional upheaval suffered by the friends and family members of someone who's depressed. The author compassionately recalls situations discussed in her support group to illustrate how "co-sufferers" can successfully cope with their grief, confusion, guilt, and reduced self-esteem.

His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina†
Danielle Steel
An exceptional book about the author's son who developed bipolar disorder in his early teens. The author gives a devastating account of the incompetence of the mental health professionals to whom she turned for help. Despite his mother's best efforts Nick kills himself at age 19. The devastation wrought by this suicide, and the unending sadness, fills the final pages.

On the Outside Looking In
Jody M. Ehrhardt
Written by the mother of a 12 year old boy with bipolar disorder this book shares her daily struggles, her mistakes and her frustrations. She opens up their daily lives in a very vulnerable way and she includes humor when she can find it.

Stronger than Death: When Suicide Touches Your Life†
Sue Chance
A practical and well written book for families trying to cope when a family member becomes seriously mentally ill. It emphasized the importance of understanding what the sick person is experiencing.

Planning for the Future: Providing a Meaningful Life for a Child With a Disability After Your Death
L. Mark Russell, Arnold E. Grant, Suzanne M. Joseph
This is essential reading for anyone trying to plan the future of a mentally disabled family member. It covers everything from government benefits to wills, trusts, power of attorney, estate planning and nursing home expenses and contains many detailed examples.

Acquainted with the Night: A parent's quest to understand depression and bipolar disorder in his children
Paul Raeburn
Raeburn writes, "There is no manual for taking care of a child with a psychiatric ailment," and it's crucial that readers of this soul-baring memoir know this isn't meant to be one. Raeburn fully discloses the daily struggles he faces with his children, one bipolar, the other chronically depressed, but what emerges is less about them than about him.

Children and Adolescents

Bipolar Disorders: A Guide to Helping Children & Adolescents†
Mitzi Waltz
An excellent plain-language guide for parents of children and adolescents with bipolar disorders, explaining diagnosis and common misdiagnoses, medications and responses, therapeutic interventions, and alternative therapies. The author is a journalist and mother of a daughter with the disorder.

The Bipolar Child: The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood's Most Misunderstood Disorder†
Demitri Papolos, Janice Papolos
The first book published specifically on bipolar disorder in children. It contains many practical suggestions and has good coverage of medications.

Adolescent Depression: A Guide for Parents
Francis Mark Mondimore
This volume explains to parents how to recognize the symptoms of serious depression in young people, what treatments are available, and how parents can best help their children cope with this illness.

The Life of a Bipolar Child: What Every Parent and Professional Needs to Know
Trudy Carlson
In this profoundly moving story, the author Trudy Carlson discusses the symptoms of bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder in young persons. The author discusses her son's depression, attention deficit disorder, and finally suicide at age 14.

Survival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar Disorder
George T. Lynn
Practical advice on recognizing the symptoms, understanding medication, and accessing the necessary support at school, as well as the managing the day-to-day challenges of parenting a child with bipolar disorder.

Lonely, Sad and Angry: A Parent's Guide to Depression in Children and Adolescents†
Barbara D. Ingersoll, Sam Goldstein
The authors give a readable overview of symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of depression in the young and demystify a subject that is often feared and denied.

The Science Behind the Treatment

*Mood Genes: Hunting for Origins of Mania and Depression†
Samuel H. Barondes
A fascinating account of the search for the specific genes associated with bipolar disorder. The author weaves together the histories of individuals with bipolar disorder with accounts of relevant research.

*A Mood Apart: The Thinker's Guide to Emotion and Its Disorders
Peter C. Whybrow
This is an especially well-written and surprisingly engaging book on the basic biology of mood disorders. It focuses on the biology of moods, emphasizing depression and bipolar disorder. It also discusses the working of medications for these disorders.

Madness on the Couch: Blaming the victim in the heyday of psychoanalysis
Edward Dolnick
The author examines psychoanalysis in the 1950s and 60s when it was applied as a treatment for serious mental illness, specifically schizophrenia, autism and obsessive compulsive disorder. Well written, very readable and very frightening. At least in the days of leaches, the leaches were occasionally helpful…

Essential Psychopharmacology of Antipsychotics and Mood Stabilizers
Stephen M. Stahl
Comprehensive, succinct and beautifully illustrated, Stahl provides a very technical biological explanation of depression and bipolar disorder and, manages to explain the pharmacological actions of psychotropic medications for these disorders in a manner even a layman can understand.

The Broken Brain: The Biological Revolution in Psychiatry†
Nancy Andreasen
Provides a complete and remarkably readable guide to the new scientific understanding of schizophrenia, severe depression, and other major mental disorders. Dr. Andreasen's book is also a social manifesto that seeks to remove the shame, guilt, and punishment that are still attached to the mentally ill.

Touched with Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament†
Kay Redfield Jamison
Jamison marshals a tremendous amount of evidence for the proposition that most artistic geniuses were (and are) manic-depressives. It suggests that psychological suffering is an essential component of artistic creativity.

Manic Depression and Creativity
D. Jablow Hershman, Julian Lieb
A fascinating look at the personal and creative lives of four major talents tormented by manic-depression (Dickens, Newton, Beethoven, and Van Gogh), probing the stereotype of the mad genius and the role depression has often played in turning talent into genius.