Bipolar, Not So Much

Understanding Your Mood Swings and Depression

Chris Aiken (Author), James Phelps, MD (Author)

Overview | Contents

Approaching depression as a complex disorder with many different facets rather than all-or-nothing.

Depression confuses the mind, strips away hope, and causes people to blame themselves for an illness they never asked for. This book presents a revolutionary new understanding of the concept of depression and offers readers skills and strategies to manage it.  

No longer is this a one-size-fits-all diagnosis, and antidepressants are no longer the one-size-fits-all treatment. Mood disorders are now seen to form a spectrum of problems, from common depression on one end to full bipolar disorder on the other. In between these extremes are multitudes of people who are on the middle of the mood spectrum, and this book is for them.

The first part of the book helps readers answer the question, “Where am I on the mood spectrum?” By laying the foundation for understanding this spectrum, Aiken and Phelps highlight the key distinctions that define unipolarity, bipolarity, hypomania, mania, and depression. Readers will be able to discern which definition best fits their experience, and use this understanding to learn which treatment methods will work best.  

The authors also empower readers to look beyond antidepressants. They walk readers through new medications for the mood spectrum, and offer a guide to non-medication treatments that anyone can use on their own, from diet and lifestyle changes to natural supplements. The book also discusses other innovative technologies that can aid in recovery, including dawn simulators, mood apps, and blue-light filters.      

This thoughtful and beneficial book will offer readers skills and strategies, as well as hope, in the face of debilitating mental challenges.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • January 2017
  • ISBN 978-0-393-71174-5
  • 6.6 × 9.6 in / 368 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“This work is filled with pragmatic, valuable information that helps readers figure out where they may be on the disorder spectrum, explains various symptoms of the disorder, provides handy self-diagnostic tests, and offers tips to assist readers in connecting with their physician. . . . A remarkable addition to the growing genre of mental health disorders and treatment that relates to the reality of how many patients with a mood disorder do not necessarily fit one end or another of the disorder spectrum.” — Library Journal

“I highly recommend this book. . . . It provides excellent advice for all conceivable aspects of dealing with this illness—from being a patient, to their families (or places of work), and their care providers.” — Metapsychology Online Reviews

“Presented primarily to help clients gain an understanding of their place on the mood spectrum, these tools have already found their way into my own thinking and practice. . . . Students, beginning social workers, and even seasoned ones will find much of value. . . . [A]ccessible to the person who experiences these conditions, but with enough depth and rigor to be engaging and valuable to clinicians. I have recommended it to several colleagues, will prescribe it to several clients, and have awarded it precious space on my clinical shelves.    ” — The New Social Worker

“This informative book is easy to read and provides practical information for patients and families. . . . I would also recommend this book to mental health trainees—it is useful for them to know what patients know.” — David L. Dunner, MD, FACPsych, Journal of Psychiatric Practice

“Perfect book for the patient. Great information and many pearls, including how to help your doctor help you. I highly recommend it.” — Robert M. Post, MD, Head, Bipolar Collaborative Network, Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington School of Medicine, former Chief of the NIMH's Biological Psychiatry Branch

“Drs. Aiken and Phelps have provided a great yet easy-to-read book for those with depressive and other symptoms that have burdened them and their loved ones for too long. When antidepressants and therapy alone don't work, Bipolar, Not So Much offers insights into what may be the real diagnosis. This informative book gives important clues to better identify the different shades of depressive and bipolar disorders. From those clues, it guides people towards the steps they need to recover. It includes up-to-date reviews of medications, natural and lifestyle approaches, as well as useful tips for living more effectively with mood problems in relationships and at work.” — Richard Weisler, MD, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center

“Explaining the concept of the mood disorder spectrum can be a formidable task for any psychiatric provider. Kudos to Drs. Aiken and Phelps for addressing this challenge by providing an easily accessible understanding of the mood disorder spectrum and its treatment, including how to live well with the diagnosis by offering lifestyle tips and numerous online resources. This will be my go to book for patients and their families!” — Dana Hillyer, Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, APRN

“This book is packed with information that will enable patients to understand their bipolar spectrum disorder, how to collaborate with their provider, and how to use important methods of self-management of their moods. My work is greatly enhanced when patients come armed with this knowledge. Families and patients will appreciate the informal tone of this book and the demystification of these concepts.” — Robert Caldwell, MD

“This book is a must-read for all psychiatrists and therapists who work with those on the mood spectrum as well as their families. The authors are thought leaders who are able to translate their clinical experiences and the medical literature into language all can understand.” — Tammas Kelly, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington University, Washington DC

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