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The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child
A Survival Guide for Parents
by Judith Lederman and Candida Fink, M.D.

There's a world of difference between diagnosing and treating a mental condition as a clinician, and actually living it. Written specifically for parents, The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child addresses the broad spectrum of personal, medical and legal issues that are raised by having a child with bipolar disorder. It also explores the stigma of mental illness, and teaches parents how to deal with family, friends, school personnel, and others who have difficulty understanding the bipolar child.

Readers will find accessible explanations of the brain chemistry and the most recent professional takes on diagnosis and treatment, as well as a wealth of practical information including:

  • How to interview, select, and communicate with health care professionals
  • Which schools and camps are safe and appropriate
  • How to deal with puberty and other hormonal shifts
  • The unexpected costs of treatment
  • How to identify and help your child through mood swings, plus tips on eliminating "triggers"
  • How to recognize when hospitalization is necessary, and what to do during the hospitalization period
  • Understanding the importance of medication

From the book:

Bipolar disorder is a very real, very treatable physical brain disorder. This energetic disturbance with its fluctuating mood states frequently coexists with other mental illnesses, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder, eating disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance abuse, and Tourette's syndrome. Professional sources estimate that the condition affects at least 1 million children in the United States alone, and since it is estimated that 1 to 2 percent of the adult population suffers from bipolar disorder, many psychiatrists believe that a similarly large number of children are afflicted as well. The illness manifests itself emotionally and behaviorally, but its roots are physical in nature, and doctors are finding that it can manifest itself earlier in life than they once believed. Over the years, the condition has been called many things, including manic-depression, circular insanity, and involuntional melancholia. No matter what they call it, health professionals have always classified it as a psychiatric mood disorder.

One of the most helpful chapters in this book is the one that deals with siblings. "A sibling falls into the category of people who need to know about your child's bipolar diagnosis." Our authors offer help with age-appropriate explanations of the condition, from preschool to school age, and on to high school. The chapter also discusses copy-cat behavior as well as how to deal with the "not fair" syndrome. If you have a special needs child, chances are that your ears ring with those words. Children with bipolar disorder often have intense relationships with their siblings, yet some are embarrassed by their mentally ill sibling and they isolate themselves from friends. This challenge requires care and support for not only your bipolar child, but for the entire family.

A must read for anyone dealing with this diagnosis, The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child offers readers the unique insight and perspective of both the mother, Judith Lederman, who suffers as she watches her son suffer through this illness, and the psychiatrist, Candida Fink, MD, who has been treating children with bipolar disorder for many years.

Visit our interview with the authors

To Purchase:
   • The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child at Amazon U.S.
   • The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child at Amazon UK
   • The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child at Amazon Canada

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