paper 0-8018-6118-7 An exhaustive, scientific, yet compassionate assist for sufferers of "the chameleon of psychiatric disorders" and their families. Psychiatrist Mondimore (Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) looks first at the symptoms and diagnosis of bipolar disorder, or manic-depression: the disease wears many masks that can make diagnosis difficult. Mondimore concedes that at present psychiatrists are generally working with the same diagnostic tools that were used in the 19th century: their eyes and ears. He goes on to discuss treatment. Medications are first and foremost—primarily mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. He follows with a thoughtful considerations of electroconvulsive therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy. Mondimore is especially clear on medication side effects (and how to avoid them), how various treatments have been used and misused, and what a reasonable standard should be. In part three, Mondimore considers how bipolar disorder affects children, adolescents, and women; and how it is affected by alcoholism and drug abuse, seasonal affective disorder and chronobiology, genetics, and other medical conditions such as stroke and hormonal problems. In part four, Mondimore offers real, detailed help for living with the disease. The key is to recognize that bipolar disease is relentless and that the way to keep it at bay is for the patient to be relentless, too——about getting needed treatment and sticking to it". Illustrative case studies here make it clear this can be done, but it isn't easy. An absolute gold mine, then, for those with the disorder and their families: thorough, candid, and up-to-date advice, full of new possibilities for help.
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