When Someone You Love Is Bipolar : Help and Support for You and Your Partner book cover
1st Edition

When Someone You Love Is Bipolar
Help and Support for You and Your Partner

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ISBN 9781593856083
Published May 27, 2009 by Guilford Press
306 Pages

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Book Description

When bipolar disorder afflicts the person you love, you suffer too. How have other couples learned to manage the relationship strains caused by this illness? What can you do to provide your partner with truly helpful nurturance and support? No one cares more deeply about these questions than Dr. Cynthia Last, a highly regarded therapist/researcher who also has bipolar disorder. Sharing stories and solutions from her own experience and the couples she has treated, Dr. Last offers heartfelt, practical guidance for getting through the out-of-control highs and the devastating lows--together. Learn how you can help your spouse come to terms with a bipolar diagnosis, get the most out of treatment, and reduce or prevent future mood episodes, while also taking care of yourself.

Table of Contents

Foreword, Barry M. Rubin


1. Does Someone You Love Have Bipolar Disorder?

2. What You Can Expect: The Course of Bipolar Illness

3. “It’s Not Me!”: When Your Partner Is in Denial

4. What You Need to Know about Your Partner’s Treatment

5. You, Your Loved One, and the Doctors: The Team Approach to Getting and Staying Well

6. Helping Your Partner Stick with Medication

7. Other Things You and Your Partner Can Do to Prevent Mood Episodes

8. Strategies for Dealing with the Ups Together

9. Strategies for Dealing with the Downs Together

10. Taking Care of Yourself and Your Relationship


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Cynthia G. Last, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Boca Raton, Florida. She has served on the faculties of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Nova Southeastern University, and is internationally known for her research on the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders. The author or editor of 13 books, Dr. Last has been widely quoted and interviewed in the media. She lives with her husband of more than 20 years, Barry M. Rubin.


Few books deal with the challenges that bipolar disorder poses for couples. Anyone whose spouse or partner has the illness should read this easy-to-digest guide. Dr. Last helps the spouse understand what the sufferer is going through and how both partners can get their needs met. Couples will find much useful information for coping with the disorder, improving communication, strengthening their relationships, and taking care of each other on both a practical and an emotional level.--David J. Miklowitz, PhD, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
This book is peppered with brilliant and intimate accounts of the personal journeys of Dr. Last, her patients, and their loving families. It is a fabulous resource for anyone who is riding the roller coaster with a spouse or partner who has bipolar disorder.--Mani Pavuluri, MD, PhD, author of What Works for Bipolar Kids

With a lot of love and hard work, the two of us have been able to achieve a stable and wonderful life. My wife has written this book for you and your partner, so that you can benefit from everything the two of us have learned during the course of our relationship about living, as a couple, with bipolar disorder.--from the Foreword by the author's husband, Barry M. Rubin
This book is a 'must read' for loved ones of bipolar sufferers. Dr. Last's candid sharing of her own personal struggles, and her therapeutic insight and recommendations, will resonate deeply with readers.--Mary A. Fristad, PhD, ABPP, coauthor of Raising a Moody Child
-Fact filled and loaded with advice.--Library Journal, 6/1/2009