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Surviving Manic Depression: A Manual on Bipolar Disorder for Patients, Families and Providers Hardcover – January 8, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 395 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1st edition (January 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465086632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465086634
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #981,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If knowing one's enemy is key to surviving a prolonged encounter, then Surviving Manic Depression should prove essential reading to those who suffer from this brain disease's horrific highs and lows. Having immersed themselves in the topic, E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., and Michael B. Knable, D.O., offer a comprehensive resource for those afflicted with--or responsible for treating--manic depression. Unfortunately, a surprisingly small amount of data exists regarding its prevalence, and existing studies show conflicting results.

Torrey and Knable's emphasis on dissecting all that is known about the disease clearly indicates that "survival" entails neither escape nor eradication; rather, it requires a lifelong pledge to undertake an effective course of treatment. The first step: learning every suspected cause, symptom, risk factor, and treatment strategy. Sprinkled among statistic-laden paragraphs, touches of empathy arrive via articulate quotations from sufferers including Patty Duke and Kay Jamison. But the crux of Torrey and Knable's work is its compilation of all the informative bits and pieces readers need to build an effective action plan. Most helpful are the chapters that address special problems (including alcohol and drug abuse, violent behavior, medication noncompliance, and the seduction of mania); and their no-holds-barred reviews of books, selected Web sites, and videotapes. --Liane Thomas

From Publishers Weekly

A lucid, thorough guide to every aspect of living with bipolar disorder, Surviving Manic Depression: A Manual on Bipolar Disorder for Patients, Families and Providers covers symptoms, treatment and advocacy. E. Fuller Torrey (Surviving Schizophrenia), psychiatry professor and Treatment Advocacy Center president, and psychiatry instructor Michael B. Knable explain what mania and depression feel like from the inside, the causes and risk factors, the range of possible medications and treatments, and 10 special problems for manic depressives like alcohol abuse and medical noncompliance. There's also a section on bipolar disorder in children and a list of frequently asked questions. This is a valuable resource for anyone touched by the illness.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


More About the Author

E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., is a research psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He is the executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, the founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center, a professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and the author of twenty books. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

Very well written and presented.
Robert W. Vance
This is a book I wish no one had to read, but for those of us who have a loved one suffering from manic depression, this is the absolutely essential read.
Frank J. Konopka
Basic Books, NY The authors have crafted an excellent, complete book describing the many aspects of Manic Depression (now called bipolar disorder).
Jim S

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Frank J. Konopka VINE VOICE on July 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book I wish no one had to read, but for those of us who have a loved one suffering from manic depression, this is the absolutely essential read. There are some parts of it, concerning various studies and statistics, which aren't really germane to what we, as family members, need to know about the illness, but the bulk of the work is tremendously helpful. We are given the symptoms of the illness, in all of its varied forms, and quite importantly, the current medications are thoroughly discussed, with all of their helps and hindrances, including side effects and interactions with other drugs. It's not an easy book to read, but I don't mean that in the comprehension sense: in that way, anyone can read and understand. It's just that manic depression is such a terrible illness, not only on the person who has it, but on all those around that person who love him or her and try to be helpful. When you read some of the small case studies, and also learn about some of the very tragic situations for those afflicted, sometime you just want to close the book and cry for awhile. However you get through this book, it's essential that you do, for it can only improve everyone's understanding of this illness, and hopefully enable the rest of us to cope with, and love unequivocally, our ill family member. More than any drug or treatment, I truly believe that love and unconditional care from us is essestial. It's not a cure, but it will help.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The title does this book justice. Manic Depression afflicts more than a million and may affect as many as 3,000,000 people in the US alone. With that many suffering, there is no dearth of literature on this subject.
Yet most of the information prior even to the early 1990's is dated and obtuse. There is much confusion in the earlier literature between schizophrenia and bipolar. It is now understood that bipolar disorders are chemical deficiencies in the brain and can largely be controled by medications and that the patients can achieve normalcy. That's where this book is so valuable. Just published in 2002, it reviews the most recent meds and their side effects. Someone suffering with this condition needs to know this stuff. Moreover there is comprehensive information for those suffering from clinical depression and other disorders that medications frequently can help.
And that's my final remark on this wealth of information. That's why it lives up to its title. This book helps the patient and her/his family to cope. As with meds, the patients learn their life problems never really go away, but how they deal with them improves.
After reading this book, both patients and those who interact with them will be enriched in their comprehension and better able to adapt to the bipolar condition.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By yorkshirewrose on October 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just got this book yesterday from Amazon. To say its the best, most salient book on the subject I have ever read- well I cannot do it justice.
I have read almost every book on this subject, since I am afflicted by it. It is very well written, moe for the lay person, than the medical establishment. I've learned more about this from this book than any other book I have read. And it is written not only for people who are manic depressive, but those who love us.
It's pretty much a must read, and should be read by everyone who either suffers from it, or knows a loved one who does.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have read several intelligently written books on the subject of manic depression. I have suffered from the disorder for twenty-six years and have not been able to find a better book on the subject. Chances are the new paperback edition, which should be updated to include new medications, will be even better than this book.
I have read several books by E. Fuller Torrey, who is, to my knowledge, America's most reliable and caring psychiatrist for the severely mentally ill.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Those lured by the table of contents into thinking they will find new information here about some of the state-of-the-art psychopharmacology for bipolar disorder or revolutionary breakthroughs, etc. will be disappointed by this comprehensive, honest, and hard-working book. It is most appropriate as an introductory guide for laypersons who have been diagnosed themselves or have a family member with bipolar disorder and who want information and reassurance plus referrals to additional sources of information. It is not a book for mental health professionals treating persons with bipolar disorder who are seeking new information about this disease, or for highly informed patients who are already familiar with the course of the illness, its symptoms, available treatments, etc. They will find little that is new here. Nonetheless this is an admirable work that will be very helpful to many people, and it is well organized and comprehensive.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Peter H. Christiansen M.Div, MFT on July 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book, (co-author Fuller Torrey is one of the worlds foremost experts on the subject) is, by far, the best "how to manage manic-depression" book I have ever read, and, I believe, ever written. My only regret is that this book wasn't available to me when I needed it even more a few years ago but much of the information contained in it wasn't known a few years years ago. Its that up-to-date, and extremely well written. Anyone who has manic-depression, or who cares about the millions of people who do, will love this book.
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