For up-to-date research-based news, see the Psychiatry Letter. Edited by Dr. Nassir Ghaemi and colleagues. Dr. Ghaemi’s thoughts are worth the attention of any reader of this site, particularly regarding areas of controversy in the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorders.
Medication information: Amazingly detailed information on any medication, by any name you know, or you can search.
Self-harm: why self harm seems to help, in a way; — and how to stop. “You are not alone”.
Suicide: a beautiful letter from someone who thought about it too. Read this now if you’re having serious thoughts about suicide.
Bipolar Art: Works by people with bipolar disorder. You may also submit your own for display.
Depression: a site that knows about depression and the complexity of the relationship to bipolar disorder; extremely knowledgeable, good writing, frequent updates, and a newsletter (John McMenamy’s Depression and Bipolar Web).
- a wonderful non-profit (despite the .com designation) organization with a great clearinghouse site.
- the kind of cognitive behavioral treatment program you should try to work through with a therapist, by one of the foremost authorities on this subject, called Overcoming Binge Eating.
First, “survival”: here are some excellent essays. I used to have some additional links here but they’ve been “disappeared” by their sites. If I run across other solid guides, they’ll go right here…
Mental Health Law: there is a fantastic resource, including lots of information about the Americans with Disabilities act and some important links for even more help with the ADA interpretation, at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.
Organization and daily regimen: Although I haven’t explored this site, a patient strongly recommended it. Try FlyLady.net.
Treating Insomnia without Medications: plain old insomnia, with no underlying cause that should be treated, just plain insomnia… I’m not sure how often this happens. However, if that’s what you have, here are some non-medication approaches:
- Read about light and darkness first. Pretty amazing story.
- The Sleep Help Institute. Very helpful specifics including:
- “Sleep Hygiene” — the basics, that actually help people in the long run as much as sleep medications.
- Online CBT-I (cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia): cost is minimal compared to a therapist and the program is solid. But it’s a waste of money if you won’t really do it.
Medication reminders, pill-minder boxes
- Here’s a nifty site with many variations of watches, timers and boxes.
- DBSAlliance: the Depressive and Bipolar Support AllianceBeen around a long time, formerly the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association, very strong national advocacy and support.
Useful books for bipolar disorder:
- Solid basics and how to learn them: The Bipolar II Workbook
- For partners — loving someone with bipolar disorder, by Julie Fast (who knows what she’s talking about and has some road-tested and very well-honed ideas for your relationship’s health)
- For families as well as patients — The Bipolar Survival Guide: What you and your family need to know, by David Miklowitz (who led the team that created “Family-focused Therapy” for bipolar disorder). Guilford Press; 1st edition (January 24, 2002). ISBN: 1572305258; $13.27 paperback
- An entertaining book that teaches (by allowing you to learn from someone else’s struggles and mistakes)? Read Hilary Smith’s Welcome to the Jungle.
- Under 25 and just diagnosed? Federman’s Facing Bipolar is a whole book version of his chapter in the link just above. Excellent resource if your diagnosis is already clear, whether Bipolar I or Bipolar II, particularly if you’re dealing with college (he works at one) (the book is not so strong on diagnosis, but that’s not their emphasis here).
Useful books for PTSD:
- Forgiveness is a choice
by Robert Enright, Ph.D. Commonly recommended by a PTSD specialist colleague.
- I Can’t Get Over It and Trust After Trauma by Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D.
Both strongly recommended by one of my patients, who was able to use them on her own.