Amazingly detailed information on any medication, by any name you
know, or you can search.
Canadian pharmacies: Wisconsin
Governor's website for purchase of medications from Canada.
Treatment Guidelines: Use
this site to make sure that whatever treatment you are offered meets the
standards set by national experts. The 1996 bipolar guidelines do not
address bipolar II; the 2000 guidelines, just publishedSachs
et al, include brief mention --e.g. see guideline 8.
why self harm seems to help, in a way; -- and how to stop. "You are
not alone". A long article on the complexity
of this issue. And a
few more options.
a beautiful letter from someone who thought about it too. Read this now if
you're having serious thoughts about suicide.
Interactions: cool tool, but the "answers" are in full
medical lingo and can be very tricky, in my experience, to
interpret. When you're having a problem with your
medications, a cross-check like this is useful. When you're not, it
could just raise your anxiety over an interaction which may not be
relevant in your case.
and Medications: there's a 2001 site, a little dated, but very
carefully done, from New
Zealand's drug regulation unit. An easily navigated site
but one really has to look for the most recent information possible as
some very open questions remained when these two sites were
Bipolar Art: Works by
people with bipolar disorder. You may also submit your own for
a site that knows about depression and the complexity of the relationship
to bipolar disorder; extremely knowledgeable, good writing, frequent
updates, and a newsletter (John McMenamy's Depression and Bipolar
- a wonderful non-profit (despite the .com designation) organization
with a great clearinghouse site.
- a more technical site from NIMH,
still providing general information;
- a list of treatment
programs (bottom of the page); and
- the kind of cognitive behavioral treatment program you should try to
work through with a therapist, by one of the foremost authorities on
this subject, called Overcoming
First, "survival": here are some
excellent essays. I used to have some additional links here but
they've been "disappeared" by their sites. If I run across other
solid guides, they'll go right here...
Mental Health Law: there is a fantastic resource, including lots
of information about the Americans with Disabilities act and some
important links for even more help with the ADA interpretation, at the Bazelon
Center for Mental Health Law.
Organization and daily regimen: Although I haven't explored this
site, a patient strongly recommended it. If you have thoughts about this
site, what else I might say about it here, let
me know. Try FlyLady.net.
Treating Insomnia without Medications: plain old insomnia, with
no underlying cause that should be treated, just plain insomnia... I'm not
sure how often this happens. However, if that's what you have, here
are some non-medication approaches:
- Read about light and darkness
first. Pretty amazing story.
Hygiene" -- the basics, that actually help people in the long
run as much as sleep medications.
- An interesting story, whether true or not, and an amazing cheap
treatment if it really works: read about blue light and "virtual
darkness" (written for people with bipolar disorder but
perhaps applicable to nearly anyone)
Relaxation Instruction -- even if it doesn't help you sleep, you
might want to be good at reaching a relaxed state, as much as possible
for you. Whoops, site is down; anybody have a
good reference? Write me
Medication reminders, pill-minder boxes
Here's a nifty site with many
variations of watches, timers and boxes.
Bipolar Sites (of the many, these are my absolute top choices --
- DBSAlliance: the Depressive and
Bipolar Support Alliance
Been around a long time, formerly the National Depressive and Manic
Depressive Association, very strong national advocacy and support.
- Bipolar Disorder in Kids :
If you have children or want to, and worry about them having bipolar
disorder, go here -- it's just what you need. Their "reference
center" is outstanding, with links to lots of full texts.
- More bipolar
in kids, from a research point of view
- Bipolar World
"Support team" ready to write you back; frequently updated
- Loving someone with Bipolar Disorder: two sites and a book to check
out -- one site for Caregivers
(close family, for example and one site for Significant others (family,
friends) ; and for close relationships, a book
by Julie Fast on that challenge.
- Mental Health Net bipolar resources guide
offers links to many smaller websites of a more personal-history/personal-perspective
nature; many of these are excellent. Brief descriptions of each site and 1-4 star rating.
There are hundreds of other sites, some of which have helped me with links, or which are widely known.
Useful books for bipolar disorder:
- For partners -- loving someone with bipolar disorder, by Julie
Fast (who knows what she's talking about and has some road-tested and
very well-honed ideas for your relationship's health). New
Harbinger Books (direct
- for families as well as patients -- The Bipolar Survival Guide: What you and your family need to know,
by David Miklowitz (who led the team that created "Family-focused
Therapy" for bipolar disorder). Guilford Press; 1st edition
(January 24, 2002). ISBN: 1572305258; $13.27 paperback.
Bipolar Workbook, by Monica Basco. Basic but central stuff to
work through with this hands-on, write-about-yourself guide. Probably
best to do all this with a therapist but if you can't find/afford one,
if you were very careful about actually doing this book, not just
reading it, you would surely benefit.
- Want an entertaining book that teaches (by allowing you to learn from
someone else's struggles and mistakes)? Read Hilary Smith's Welcome
to the Jungle.
- FREE! hard to beat that price. Here's a collection of chapters from
knowledgeable authors made available by the International Bipolar
Living With Bipolar Disorder. Scroll down to the Table of
Contents and pick the chapters you are interested in; you can go back
and read the author bio's later (they precede the Table of Contents and
they're lengthy). See in particular the chapters by
Russ Federman, for young people just getting the diagnosis (and/or
trying to go to college with it). The chapter on medications is basic
but extensive (and I agree with most of it !).
- Under 25 and just diagnosed? Federman's Facing
Bipolar is a whole book version of his chapter in the link just
above. Excellent resource if your diagnosis is already clear,
whether Bipolar I or Bipolar II, particularly if you're dealing with
college (he works at one) (the book is not so strong on diagnosis, but that's
not their emphasis here).
LOOK HOW MUCH BETTER LIFE CAN GET. For an account
of severe bipolar disorder that demonstrates how one can go from
hospitalizations and self-harm to a stable relationship and employment,
Between Never and Ever, by Shannon Flynn.
- An Unquiet Mind, by Kay Jamison, Ph.D.
No list like this would be complete without a citation of the works of
Dr. Jamison, whose insight into the illness has been a guide for
researchers for years. As one reviewer put it, "one of the
best scientific autobiographies ever written, a combination of clarity,
truth, and insight into human character". See also Dr.
Jamison's discussion of the creativity which seems to accompany bipolar
disorder, Touched with Fire.
Useful books for PTSD: