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Patient-Centered Guides

March 6, 2002

Treatments and Strategies for Bipolar Disorders:
A Dangerous and Misunderstood Condition

SEBASTOPOL, CA -- Bipolar disorders are psychiatric states characterized by severe mood swings, from suicidal depression to elated highs. At least two million people in the US have a bipolar disorder.

Some of the most famous artists, musicians, politicians, and writers of our time have been bipolar.

Sadly, so have been a disproportionate number of the inmates in our juvenile facilities, psychiatric hospitals, and prisons. Up to twenty percent of persons with bipolar disorder commit suicide and as many as fifty percent attempt it. Educational failure, substance abuse, reckless and impulsive behavior, limited job prospects, legal difficulties, and expensive hospitalizations are other common outcomes.

With appropriate treatment and support, people can lead highly successful lives, often taking advantage of the creativity that is the "flip side" of an otherwise difficult and dangerous condition.

Adult Bipolar Disorders: Understanding Your Diagnosis & Getting Help points the way to the range of most effective treatments and other changes that can support people with bipolar disorder in leading successful and rewarding lives. Includes stories from families living with the disorder.

It includes:

  • Criteria for diagnosis, a comparison of bipolar disorder to other conditions, and explanation of the different types of bipolar disorders
  • In-depth look at beneficial medications, talk therapies, complementary therapies, and lifestyle changes such as modifying sleep patterns and nutrition
  • Tools for living with the disorder: recognizing states, preventing mood swings, suicide prevention, structuring life to enhance stability and health
  • Minimizing possible effects on: work, sexuality, relationships, substance abuse
  • Extensive resources, including key organizations and programs in other English-speaking countries
  • Accessing best health care and insurance coverage
This book is geared for adult patients with bipolar disorder as well as for spouses, family members, friends, therapists, and others who need accurate information.

Press may receive a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author

Author Mitzi Waltz is an advocate for families facing neurological issues. She has been heavily involved in online support work, and has also advocated for special-needs children within the medical, insurance, and education systems. An author, journalist, and editor for more than a decade, she has previously written books on childhood/adolescent bipolar disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders (part of the autism spectrum of disorders). She is currently doing research at the Autism Research Unit in Britain.

About Patient-Centered Guides

Patient empowerment is the core of Patient-Centered Guides. We believe that people are empowered when they have the knowledge and skills to partner with their doctor or healthcare provider to get the best medical care possible.

We publish books that contain clear, concise, easy to understand information about the medical, practical and emotional aspects of health issues. Our authors are patient activists, knowledgeable about specific conditions and diseases, who have built strong and networked communities of patients, families, and caregivers. In addition to our books, we publish in-depth patient information on the web at

Patient-Centered Guides is a wholly-owned subsidiary of O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. O'Reilly is recognized worldwide for its technical books that provide value to people who are experiencing information pain. O'Reilly publishes books that make a difference in people's lives.

Adult Bipolar Disorders: Understanding Your Diagnosis and Getting Help
By Mitzi Waltz
$29.95 US, 384 pages, 7x9", trade paperback
ISBN: 0-596-50010-6

US Resources for Adult Bipolar Disorders

  • National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
    Arlington, VA 22201
    (800) 950-6264
    NAMI is the largest organization for mentally ill people and their families in the US. It has state and local chapters around the country. It sponsors legislation, advocates for mentally ill people, and provides excellent information via its web site and publications.
  • National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association
    Chicago, IL 60610-3526
    This support and advocacy group specifically for people with depression or bipolar disorders has chapters throughout the US and an informative web site.
  • About Bipolar Disorder
    This site presents a collection of articles, links, and a web-based chat group about bipolar disorders.
  • Bipolar Planet
    The Bipolar Planet is a long-lived e-mail discussion list. To subscribe, visit the web site or send an email message to
  • Bipolar Disorders Information Center
    This site includes clinical treatment information, information on conferences, and the "Bipolar Disorder and Impulsive Spectrum Newsletter" in PDF format.
  • Pendulum Resources
    You can find up-to-date information on bipolar disorders here, with a strong "mental health consumer" orientation.
  • WalkersWeb
    WalkersWeb (also known as Walkers in Darkness) is the home of several maikling lists geared toward people with bipolar disorders or depression. It also has excellent links to mental health sites, its own informational files, and online chat groups.
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