National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Book Reviews: February 2008
Note: To purchase any of the items below, simply click the item name to be directed to Amazon.com. NAMI will receive a percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you.
Swallow the Ocean
As a child growing up in
Manic: A Memoir
"If you come with me on this journey, I think a word of warning is in order: manic depression is not a safe ride. It doesn't go from point A to point B in a familiar, friendly pattern. It's chaotic, unpredictable. You never know where you're heading next," Terri Cheney writes in the preface to her memoir—which is organized by manic episodes, rather than chronological order.
Fearing what friends and family might think of her, Cheney hid her illness for years. Her first suicidal depression was when she was 16. Under an immaculate appearance, she struggled to find an answer to what she was living, battling stigma and even her father to recognize it as an illness—and that you couldn't "pick yourself up by your bootstraps."
Her journey through college at Vassar and law school at UCLA was a battle with food to fill a hunger that wouldn't subside. At powerful firms in
After an attempted suicide that landed her in a psychiatric ward for over a week, she finally began to accept her mental illness.
"I believe in the diagnosis. It's true to me as being a redhead. Despite the constant shifting of the earth beneath my feet, I feel grounded at last."
Throughout her journey, Cheney lost friends and family and lived with consequences. Today, she is comfortable speaking of her suicide attempts, therapy, medication and electroshock therapy she tried. And at the end of the journey, we see she no longer has to pretend to be someone she is not. Her story is authentic, vivid testimony by a consumer. It's well worth-reading.
A Deeper Shade of Blue: A Woman's Guide to Recognizing and Treating Depression in Her Childbearing Years
Break the Bipolar Cycle: A Day-by-Day Guide to Living with Bipolar Disorder
Written for consumers living with bipolar disorder, Part One of this book addresses "The Big Questions" with up-to-date information about scientific knowledge, where a person might fit on s spectrum of diagnostic criteria, and effective treatments that are currently available. Part Two is a guide that addresses "Problems and Solutions," offering practical exercises that help customize the book—encouraging readers to find ways that work best for them to regulate mood, relieve stress, improve thought processes, and break the bipolar cycle. Once size does not fit all. The book can be used as a "jump start" for symptom management, a guide to understanding the illness, or a tool to help consumers focus conversations with doctors and families about . Amador is a former NAMI national board member and author of the popular I'm Not Sick, I Don't Need Help, which recently was updated.
The Bipolar Teen: What You Can Do to Help Your Child and Your Family