Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Review: Living With Someone Who's Living With Bipolar Disorder

For almost a year, maybe even longer, I had been wanting to buy Living With Someone Who's Living With Bipolar Disorder. For one reason or another I never did. Usually because I tend to not want to spend money on myself and instead rather use it for everyone else who might need it.

The other day I received a gift card at work and used it to buy the book. The funny thing is that I had just had a conversation with some #mhsm friends about how I struggle with self care and doing nice things for myself minutes before receiving the gift card. Otherwise I might not even have used it for something for myself.

But back to the book. It had been a trying day that day and I needed to hear from someone that I was not alone and I needed ideas on how to better things and how to better understand L. As someone who does not have this illness it is extremely difficult to understand why he acts the way he does at times. Especially when he doesn't understand it himself. So all of this came together with perfect timing.

I started reading at about 10pm, long after the kids went to bed. Within the first few pages I was crying. There was someone who understood. Someone who might have an attempt at answers. I read until I HAD to put the book down to go to bed since I had to get up early the next day to go to work.

I found a lot of helpful information in that book. Some that I knew, other that I had no idea about. It helped me know that however strange L might be acting at times, however inexplicable his thought process might be to me at times, we are not the only ones dealing with this.

The book is a good mix of history of bipolar disorder, what treatments exist and how they work, what different types of medications there are and ways on how to tackle different situations brought on by the illness. What I liked the most were the personal stories throughout the whole book that matched the topics addressed in each chapter (money, high sex drive, med compliance etc).

The first thing I did the next morning was pass on the book title to L's grandparents in the hope that they will find it as helpful as I do. I also asked L to read it in the hope that he will get a better understanding of himself and of my side of this equation. I originally bought the ebook version of the book but will go and buy the actual book in the next few days to have it on hand for myself (and to reread it with a marker in hand this time).

2 comments:

Bec said...

Hi Kris,
Thanks for this. I've been thinking about finding something for my husband for a little while, I just keep forgetting. He is a medical worker but doesn't really deal with psych, unless it's emergency cases. I over-assumed how much he actually knew. It hit me on the head a little while ago when he said that he thought I'd take meds for a few years and then be fine for the rest of my life. He's not very good at talking about things, in the stereotypical male way, so I thought I might be able to give him a book and he can quietly go away and read it.

Does this book talk much about depression, or is it mostly focused on the manic/hypomanic states? I have bipolar II and depression is by far my biggest issue.

Kris said...

It talks about both sides of bipolar and also explains the different types that exist. The biggest help for me o think were the ideas on how to approach certain subjects as well as certain moods. You could always check with your local library first to see if they have it or can get it if you are unsure if he would like reading it.

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