In this last installment, Ed reflects on Kay Jamison's autobiographical account of living with bipolar, discusses the use of medication, and then revisits the case study of "Diane" whose story was introduced in part 1.
A good autobiography invites you into another person's world, then reveals both the beauty and the blemishes of the humanness of that world. Kay Jamison's book does this masterfully. Jamison is a psychologist, an expert writer about moods, and a world-class researcher on the faculty of UCLA and Johns Hopkins psychiatry departments. She writes about bipolar fluctuations because she has personally been affected by bouts with it. Along with her more technical writings, she has written popular books about mania and creativity. She has also written about suicide. An Unquiet Mind is a must-read for anyone dealing with bipolar tendencies.
In this section of the article, Ed reviews and interacts with two books on bipolar disorder. The first book is written from a cognitive-behavioral point of view and the second addresses bipolar in children.
Monica R. Basco and A. John Rush Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Bipolar Disorder, 2nd edition (New York: Guilford, 2005), 315 pages.
Cultural shifts accompanied changes in what is popular among secular therapies. Presently, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is especially stylish. It suits the insurance industry's demand for shorter therapies with verifiable goals. It squares nicely with American sensibilities that focus on problem solving and results. As its name suggests, CBT focuses on education by identifying problems in thinking and behavior and suggesting practical solutions.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Bipolar Disorder is a more technical and thorough presentation of the cognitive approach that also steers The Bipolar Survival Guide. It aims to (1) identify the problem, (2) learn the early warning signs, (3) learn how to manage the symptoms, (4) develop strategies to aid compliance with medication, and (5) deal with the emotional, vocational, and social fallout of bipolar disorder.
Starting with a case study and a biblical framework, this article takes us through a review of four books on the topic of bipolar disorder. Ed summarizes and interacts with these secular materials, gleaning what we can learn from them, while he builds a distinctly biblical interpretation of the struggles and symptoms of those facing this problem.
Part 1 of 3
Diane, a thirty-five-year old wife and mother, was becoming increasingly irritable. Her flashes of anger at the slightest provocation put everyone on high alert. Adding to the family tension, she was sleeping erratically—staying up late and getting up early. The family didn’t really know what she was doing with her time. Half-finished projects littered the house, none in synch with family priorities. These tensions weighed on her husband and were compounded by Diane’s apparent unwillingness to listen to the concerns he or others had about her behavior. Conflict was inevitable.