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.
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