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Book Recommendations

Following is a list of categories of recommended books. Further down on this page and you'll see books that we've recommended on our home page over the past few years.

Your book purchase helps offset the costs of registering and hosting Pendulum.org.


Family and Friends



Mental Illness


Mood Disorders


Other Media

Related Disorders


Medifocus Guide to Bipolar Disorder is a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED resource for the person with Bipolar Disorder. Each guide has current and relevant Bipolar Disorder research organized into categories for easy reading. Free updates are provided for 1 year. The Medifocus Guide also provides an international Bipolar Disorder physician finder. A must have!

Education is the best complementary treatment for bipolar disorder. To this end, I've posted Pendulum Resources Wish List. The books on this list are must-haves for any bipolar's library.

I would like to thank Hampton Roads Press for their generous donation of books on alternative treatments for bipolar disorder and other brain disorders. See our Alternatives section for reviews.

Here are some of the our previous front page features.

This book focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar type II and cyclothymia.

I immensely enjoy my work with Soft Bipolar patients. When they are diagnosed and treated correctly they move on to creative and productive lives. They are the spice of life. -- Charles K.Bunch, Ph.D.

It is a message of hope for the hard times. Yes, there is life after diagnosis. Thank you, Dr. Bunch!

According to Dr. Gartner, hypomania (as opposed to full-blown mania) is a positive adaptive trait. The U.S. was settled by energetic, optimistic folks who were willing to risk everything to create their dreams. Read about some of those folks here.

Energy, optimism, creativity, and risk-taking: all of these traits can contribute greatly to one's success in life. It's time to get The Hypomanic Edge.

Suzy's book, "The Naked Bird Watcher", is an autobiographical account of her struggle with bipolar disorder. It is very well-written and can be read and understood by bipolar and non-bipolar folk alike. What I liked best about the book is that Suzy documents what worked for her and what didn't, something that is important for all of us to pay attention to and to work on in our own lives. Suzy's positive approach and hopeful message make this book a must-read.

The Cairn edition, which I'm featuring, is revised and contains a great deal of new information about Suzy's work in the Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy fields.

Do you question the rationale behind piling on med after med to counteract the side effects of the life-saving meds you must take every day? Have you experienced difficulty reducing dosages in order to return to work? Do you feel uneasy when you read about how much money the drug companies make from your illness?

Then Jeffrey Wilson's new book is for you!

In Irrational Medicine, Jeffrey exposes many of the fallacies about the benefits of long-term antidepressant therapy. In my years of taking these drugs and of seeing the long-term effects that the medical profession is only beginning to recognize, this book brings the issue into focus and will show you proven effective means of treating your illness.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beating the Blues
   by Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Ellen McGrath and Marcella Kogan.

   According to Dr. McGrath, the blues can ultimately prove to be a blessing in disguise provided we pay attention to what they are telling us and take appropriate action. The book helps readers isolate the source of the blues and understand the 16 kinds of everyday blues.

Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families    by Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D.

   In this book for persons with bipolar disorder and their families, Dr. Frank Mondimore offers a comprehensive, practical, compassionate guide to the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and causes of this potentially devastating psychiatric illness, formerly known as "manic-depression."

The Dilemma    by Tina Goss.

   A true story as experienced by the author, The Dilemma captures a family's surrealistic struggle with mental illness. While others may have deemed their situation dire, a humorous approach became their life preserver.
Tina Goss writes in candid detail about growing up with a father crippled by manic-depression and her mother's ingenious attempts to disguise it. Both heartbreaking and funny, this memoir is testimony to a family's indestructible love.
The Dilemma is a captiving book that deals with the daily predicament of having a mentally ill parent and a heart-wrenching decision that no daughter should ever have to make.

Undoing Depression
   by Psychotherapist, Richard O'Connor.

   A psychotherapist shows readers how to "undo" depression by replacing depressive patterns of thinking, relating, and behaving with a new and more effective set of skills.

Winning Against Relapse : A Workbook of Action Plans for Recurring Health and Emotional Problems
   by Mary Ellen Copeland.

   Every recovery holds the potential for relapse. And for many who have fought their way back to health from a physical disorder or emotional trauma, the return of old symptoms can be even more devastating than the original crisis. In this book, Mary Ellen Copeland presents a structured system that those in recovery can use to monitor their own symptoms and respond to them in a way that reduces or eliminates the possibility of relapse. Readers will learn to identify events or situations that can cause their symptoms to recur, prepare an action plan to take if things start to break down, and lay out specifics about support, medications, and treatment facilities that can help.

Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide
   by Kay Redfield Jamison.

   "Suicide is a particularly awful way to die: the mental suffering leading up to it is usually prolonged, intense, and unpalliated," writes Kay Redfield Jamison. "There is no morphine equivalent to ease the acute pain, and death not uncommonly is violent and grisly." Jamison has studied manic-depressive illness and suicide both professionally--and personally. She first planned her own suicide at 17; she attempted to carry it out at 28. Now professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, she explores the complex psychology of suicide, especially in people younger than 40: why it occurs, why it is one of our most significant health problems, and how it can be prevented.

Living Without Depression and Manic Depression: A Workbook for Maintaining Mood Stability
   by Mary Ellen Copeland.

   Those affected with depressive and manic depressive disorders can live fairly normal lives with proper treatment: this book provides self-help tips to supplement treatment programs, providing encouragement for self-advocacy and including recommendations for support and self-help therapy. From minimizing negative influences from the past to using peer counseling effectively, this provides a workbook packed with tips.

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness    by Kay Redfield Jamison.

   In this book Dr. Jamison turns that mirror on herself. With breathtaking honesty she tells of her own manic depression, the bitter costs of her illness, and its paradoxical benefits: "There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness and terror involved in this kind of madness.... It will never end, for madness carves its own reality." This is one of the best scientific autobiographies ever written, a combination of clarity, truth, and insight into human character.


Modified February 24, 2007

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The information at this web site is for consumers, family members and mental health workers to make informed decisions about the care and treatment of bipolar disorder, AKA manic depression. These pages are not a substitute for consultation with your counselor, therapist, doctor, or psychiatrist.

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