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When Someone You Love is Bipolar

What happens when 'in sickness and in health' meets the turbulent challenges of bipolar disorder? In this wise, candid, and compassionate book written expressly for the spouse or partner, Dr. Cynthia Last shares her heartfelt insights as a highly regarded therapist/researcher and a bipolar sufferer. Readers learn how to help their loved one come to terms with a bipolar diagnosis and find effective treatment - and how to work together to get control over the mood swings and live life to the fullest. Vivid examples from Dr. Last's own experience and the couples she has treated illuminate ways to resolve painful relationship conflicts caused by the illness. She shows spouses what they can do to provide truly helpful nurturance and support, while also taking care of themselves.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword, Barry M. Rubin Introduction 1. Does Someone You Love Have Bipolar Disorder? 2. What You Can Expect: The Course of Bipolar Illness 3. "It's Not Me!": When Your Partner Is in Denial 4. What You Need to Know about Your Partner's Treatment 5. You, Your Loved One, and the Doctors: The Team Approach to Getting and Staying Well 6. Helping Your Partner Stick with Medication 7. Other Things You and Your Partner Can Do to Prevent Mood Episodes 8. Strategies for Dealing with the Ups Together 9. Strategies for Dealing with the Downs Together 10. Taking Care of Yourself and Your Relationship Resources

About the Author

Cynthia G. Last, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Boca Raton, Florida. She has served on the faculties of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Nova Southeastern University, and is internationally known for her research on the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders. The author or editor of 13 books, Dr. Last has been widely quoted and interviewed in the media. She lives with her husband of more than 20 years, Barry M. Rubin.


Inspired by her own experiences with bipolar disorder, clinical psychologist Last (Help for Worried Kids) takes on the disorder in all its manifestations, counseling readers about its impact on relationships. As she points out, the impact of the disorder depends not only on its severity, the quality of the treatment, and the patient's compliance but also on the partner's willingness to monitor the disorder and periodically accept it as a "third party" in the relationship. She also considers the constraints placed on social life and, conversely, how the patient's high energy and creativity can compensate for the instability and mood problems. Part reference and part self-help guide, the book includes checklists, charts, scales, and strategies, with an emphasis on the medical aspects of this condition and its treatment. The strongest chapter features detailed information about psychotropic medication, helping partners understand what the medications do and what the side effects are. A list of recommended books, organizations, and Internet sites is included. Verdict Fact filled and loaded with advice, this book can be somewhat dense and repetitive, making it most appropriate for more sophisticated readers.-Fran Mentch, Cleveland State Univ. Lib. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"This book is peppered with brilliant and intimate accounts of the personal journeys of Dr. Last, her patients, and their loving families. It is a fabulous resource for anyone who is riding the roller coaster with a spouse or partner who has bipolar disorder." - Mani Pavuluri, author of What Works for Bipolar Kids "With a lot of love and hard work, the two of us have been able to achieve a stable and wonderful life. My wife has written this book for you and your partner, so that you can benefit from everything the two of us have learned during the course of our relationship about living, as a couple, with bipolar disorder." - from the Foreword by Barry M. Rubin "This book is a 'must read' for loved ones of bipolar sufferers. Dr. Last's candid sharing of her own personal struggles, and her therapeutic insight and recommendations, will resonate deeply with readers." - Mary A. Fristad, coauthor of Raising a Moody Child "Few books deal with the challenges that bipolar disorder poses for couples. Anyone whose spouse or partner has the illness should read this easy-to-digest guide. Dr. Last helps the spouse understand what the sufferer is going through and how both partners can get their needs met. Couples will find much useful information for coping with the disorder, improving communication, strengthening their relationships, and taking care of each other on both a practical and an emotional level." - David J. Miklowitz, Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

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