Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Other Depression - Bipolar II

The Other Depression: Bipolar DisorderThe Other Depression: Bipolar Disorder by Robert Grieco

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Grieco's book is invaluable for the bipolar II patient in or near maintenance phase, family and caregivers, family practitioners, other medical personnel whether specializing in psychiatric treatment or not, and the general reader. I daresay it should be required reading.

Written from the standpoint of a general practitioner, Grieco talks about what he looks for in a patient that might indicate bipolar II. Since each person with the disorder presents in their own unique way, he has many examples of different ways the disorder may be recognized.

Comorbid diagnoses are also examined. This includes alcoholism, metabolic disorder, and anxiety disorders as well as other things. This is often missed by patients and practitioners.

The book goes a long way in helping the maintenance or near-maintenance patient understand various aspects of the disorder. This is also useful for others in the family or elswise who need to understand the full impact. Bipolar II is not just a disease that can be treated with medication. Behaviora/Cognitive counseling is often required to change thoughts that became ingrained, reestablish sleep hygiened, and even structure lives so everyday household tasks can be done effectively.

Mania is briefly discussed. More importantly, the author makes it clear that bipolar II patients may have very little mania symptoms. hypomania, cyclothymia, and dysthymia are explained. This goes a long ways in helping patients and others in understanding why the diagnosis was made and what to expect.

Most importantly, by clearing up misconceptions about symptoms and treatment, Grieco helps alleviate the stigma associated with this order.

Sadly, the publisher chose to present most of the information in a "wall of text" that will be very off-putting to the reader - especially patients who are not quite in the maintenance stage.

Although the author occasionally lapses into doctor jargon, it is not necessary to understand that completely to get to the important parts of the book.

As with any medical book, one must be aware that medications listed may be out of date even while the book is being printed. This does not detract in any way from the validity of the book.

Would I recommend this for a patient who is not in or near maintenance phase? No. The lack of whitespace and "wall of text" are too difficult for the patient to take in.

Would I recommend this for the patient who is in or near maintenance-phase? Yes. Even if the the patient has been diagnosed for a long time, this book has a new way of presenting information that the patient or his or her doctors might not have thought about.

Would I recommend this book for family, caregivers, supervisors, and others near the patient? Absolutely, if their commitment to understanding and working with the patient and the patient's team is high. Reading level may be a barrier.

Would I recommend this to health practitioners at all levels. Without hesitation.

Would I recommend this to a man in a bear suit? Naw. Probably not an issue.

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