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.