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Family Experiences of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can be a devastating illness, seriously affecting not only the person with bipolar but also their children, partner, parents, family and friends. While most people are familiar with the terms 'manic depressive' and 'bipolar disorder', there remains a lack of real understanding about the illness and many sufferers and their families can feel helpless, alone and misunderstood. Family Experiences of Bipolar Disorder is a personal and honest account of bipolar disorder. The author Cara Aiken has lived with bipolar for 10 years, and in this book she gathers together her experiences and those of a host of contributors to portray the reality of the illness and its impact on family life. Their children give open and frank accounts of their lives with a bipolar parent, and partners and close family members explain how it has affected them. The book also features important facts and figures related to bipolar which are contributed by leading experts. This moving and insightful book will provide an invaluable source of guidance, advice and support to people with bipolar disorder and their families, as well as an insight for professionals into the reality of life with the illness.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword. Acknowledgements. Preface. 1. Introducing Bipolar Disorder. Managing Bipolar Disorder. Professor Nick Craddock, Cardiff University Psychiatry Service, UK. Bipolar Disorder and Childbirth. Dr. Ian Jones, Cardiff University, UK. 2. Living with Bipolar Disorder. 3. Parenting with Bipolar Disorder. The Effects of Parental Bipolar Disorder on Children and Families. Dr Quentin Spender, Chichester Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, UK. 4. Growing up with a Bipolar Parent. 5. Adult Relationships and Bipolar Disorder. 6. Bipolar Disorder and Society. 7. Conclusion. Further Reading. References.

Promotional Information

A personal and honest account of bipolar disorder

About the Author

Cara Aiken has lived with bipolar disorder for over ten years, and is the mother of two teenage daughters. She lives in the UK, and is author of Surviving Post-Natal Depression: At Home, No One Hears You Scream, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.


For a counsellor, the book is a helpful resource in spelling out the implications for clients who may be affected directly by the disorder itself or by living with someone else affected by it. "Honouring the humanity of the people we care for" is a phrase I came across elsewhere, but which comes to mind now as I reflect on this book, which dignifies the reality of living with mental health conditions and shows the exemplary decency of those involved in writing this book. -- The Independent Practitioner There are many books about bipolar but few focus on the impact the condition has on relationships within the family. Cara Aiken fills this gap admirably with her latest publication. In addition to valuable information about the symptoms and treatment of bipolar she uncovers, through a series of intimate and revealing interviews, the sense of loss, frustration, grief and longing that splinters the feelings between people with the diagnosis and their partners, parents, siblings and children - as well as the joy and relief when (and if) the individual makes a recovery. -- Michel Syrett, Editor of Pendulum, the journal of MDF The BiPolar Organisation, UK This book is an engaging and enlightening account of the challenges of living with bipolar disorder. The author has been able to weave together stories, vignettes, and case reports that illustrate what it is like to have, or live with someone who has, a mood disorder. It is important to know that we can all learn from individuals that have the lived experience, and this book captures and illustrates their lives successfully. -- Peter C. Ashenden, President and CEO of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, USA

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