breakdown of the middle ground.

topical books

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

By: Kay Redfield Jamison

This autobiography combines truth, scientific clarity, and human insight into a mental disorder possessed by the professor of psychiatry herself. Struggling in her battle with manic depression, Jamison reveals the costs and paradoxical benefits this disorder imposed upon her life.

Fly Me To The Moon: Bipolar Journey through Mania

By H. E. Logue

A Brilliant Madness: Living With Manic-Depressive Illness

By: Patty Duke

This success story of responsive treatment to a manic depressive illness is written in alternating chapters; combining those of her life experiences as a wife, mother, political activist, President of The Screen Actors Guild with bipolar disorder, with the varied courses of treatment available and other clinical aspects.

Burn: A Bipolar Memoir

By Shane Feldman

The Years of Silence are Past: My Father’s Life with Bipolar Disorder

By: Stephen P. Hinshaw

A commanding rehash of a son watching his father losing his way, and mind to bipolar disorder. Professor Hinshaw’s gripping book centers on fathers and sons, lunacy, and the response by public society and those in academic and medical communities.

Scattershot: My Bipolar Family

By: David Lovelace

Detour: My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D

By: Lizzie Simon

Taking the approach to embrace her disorder to understand it; author Lizzie Simon put her career at standstill to instead travel the country to interview others who share in her mental affliction.

Mommy I’m Still in Here: Raising Children with Bipolar Disorder

By Kate McLaughlin

The Naked Bird Watcher

By: Suzy Johnston

“This is a personal, poignant and poetic story of Recovery. Suzy teaches us about determination, patience and perseverance. She inspires people to continue living their lives while learning to manage a mental illness.”

Christine Gayler, Boston University

Intense Minds: Through the Eyes of Young People with Bipolar Disorder

By:Tracy Anglada

Neural Misfire: A True Story of Manic-Depression

By: Jeff D. Kazmierczak

This biographical story is written in a compelling format, structured in that of a novel, as it describes a man’s journey from depression symptoms, to mania, and then initial treatment.

I Just Want My Daughter Back

By: B.C. Levinson

Bipolar Disorder: Rebuilding Your Life

By: James T. Stout

Reverend Stout’s battle with bipolar disorder is presented as a helpful memoir to Christians confronting mental illness directly or indirectly.

Journey Not Chosen…Destination Not Known: Living With Bipolar Disorder

By: Mary Worthen

A read about the author’s personal bipolar disorder battle, and her strong Christian faith based beliefs.

Win The Battle, The 3-Step Lifesaving Formula to Conquer Depression and Bipolar Disorder

By: Bob Olson

Based on the author’s own road to recovery, this book provides hope for patients who want to end suffering along a path that was successful for him.

God Head

By: Scott Zwiren

A narrative of a person plagued with suicidal tendencies and manic depression. In college Zwiren’s chemical imbalance leads him to throwing himself in front a subway. Surviving as a paraplegic, this is his life before and after his last suicide attempt. Find all the books, read about the author, and more.

Lost Puritan: A Life of Robert Lowell

By: Paul Mariani

A passionate biography told from the son one of America’s great poets, Robert Lowell.  Using a combination of unpublished letters by the poet, and interviews with his friends and family, Lowell’s manic depressive episodes are fully explored and the affects they had on his life in the 1950s and 60s.

The Quiet Room; A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness

By: Lori Schiller, Amanda Bennett

Schiller presents a first-hand account of living with the dual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Some chapters are contributed by members of her family and co-author Bennett incorporates Lori’s personal diaries with interviews  from relatives, friends, and doctors.

Run, Run, Run: The Lives of Abbie Hoffman

By: Jack Hoffman and Daniel Simon

A biography of a manic depressive personal struggle in the 1960’s and 1970’s written from a brother’s perspective.

True North: A Memoir

By: Jill Ker Conway

The author’s personal memoir, that includes learning to live and cope with her husband’s bipolar disorder.

Sugar and Salt: My Life with Bipolar Disorder

By: Jane Thompson

We Heard the Angels of Madness: One Family’s Struggle with Manic Depression

By: Diane and Lisa Berger

This is a mother’s story of helping her son, who at 19 was diagnosed manic depressive, on his difficult path.

Agents in My Brain: How I Survived Manic Depression

By: Bill Hannon

“Bill Hannon guides you into a world in which crossword puzzles are coded messages from the CIA and a scrap of masking tape on your car windshield means that your conversations are being monitored. His tale is ultimately a success story after he finds a competent doctor and the right medications.”

A Brotherhood of Tyrants: Manic Depression and Absolute Power

By: D. Jablow Hershman & Julian Lieb,

“The authors consider tyranny as the product of bipolar disorder (especially mania) together with ruthlessness, ambition, paranoia, and other charming qualities. The approach is interdisciplinary, combining psychiatry and history. They present biographies of the public and private lives of Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin.”

Child of Silence

By: Abigail Padgett

A nail biting fictional tell of bipolar sufferer and child abuse investigator, Bo Bradley; and a deaf American Indian boy, on the run from murderers.

(Tidbit: The author has a son who is manic depressive.)

Turtle Baby

By: Abigail Padgett

“When child abuse investigator Bo Bradley looks into the near fatal poisoning of a Mayan baby named Acito or “Little Turtle,” she has no idea that her probing will escalate into one of the most terrifying and morally baffling cases of her career. As the investigation leads her to Tijuana, Bo enters a tawdry world of drugs, deception, and dark secrets.”

The Voices of Heaven

By: Frederick Pohl

A science fiction novel whose main character is a treatment-resistant manic depressive, who needs a continued supply of high-tech medication. He ends up in a satellite planet, without a source for his meds.

Goldman’s Anatomy

By: Glenn Savan

“Savan follows up White Palace , a novel about an unlikely couple, with this high-voltage tale about an unquiet triangle. Narrator Arnie Goldman, a dealer in rare gems and minerals, finds that business success doesn’t ease his bitterness at being crippled by chronic rheumatoid arthritis. Redso Wolff, Arnie’s best friend since high school, is brilliant, handsome and charismatic, but he’s just thrown away a scholarship to study theater at Carnegie-Mellon. Redso’s lover, Billy Rubin, may seem independent, but she is emotionally enthralled by her overbearing and bigoted father, an orthodox rabbi. As the novel opens, Redso and Billy show up at Arnie’s house in St. Louis, where Redso’s behavior becomes increasingly and dangerously bizarre. Arnie and Billy diagnose Redso as manic-depressive; predictably enough, Arnie and Billy are brought closer together, become lovers and eventually marry. Savan’s brisk pacing allows for energetic dialogue if less than full-blooded characterizations.” From Publisher’s Weekly

Sights Unseen

By: Kaye Gibbons

“A heartfelt story of a family caught in the grip of a mother’s erratic and frightening behavior as a bipolar sufferer. To the townspeople of Bend of the River, Maggie Barnes is “that Barnes woman with the problems.” Between her mother’s suicidal lows and delirious highs, young Hattie struggles to find a place in her heart.”

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity (Inner Workbook)

By:Julia Cameron

“Asserting that creative expression is the natural direction of life, noted Hollywood screenwriter and director Julia Cameron presents an exciting method for artists to recover their creativity from limiting beliefs, self-sabotage, inattention, fear, jealousy, guilt, addictions, and other forces that inhibit the creative process. (Robert Lowell and Ernest Hemingway are the main persons the author uses as examples of artists with manic-depression. Others are mentioned: Ezra Pound, Mary Lamb, Virginia Woolf.)

The Flight of the Mind : Virginia Woolf’s Art and Manic-Depressive Illness

By: Thomas C. Caramagno

Manic Depression: Illness or Awakening

By: Robert E. Kelly

“The author was diagnosed as manic-depressive in his early twenties: here he refutes the common medical opinion that mania is an illness, instead presenting a case for mania as a reflection of an ‘awakening’ psyche. His spiritual, psychological and intellectual studies are reflected in a strong presentation which makes a case for an alternative view of manic tendencies.” Midwest Book Review

Manic-Depressive Illness

By: Fredrick K. Goodwin, M.D., & Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.,

This is THE medical textbook for manic depression.

Touched with Fire: Manic-depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament

By: Kay Redfield Jamison

A look at a number of 19th century poets, writers, and composers who were bipolar.

Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families

By: Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D.

For those with bipolar disorder and their families, a comprehensive, practical, compassionate guide to the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and causes of this psychiatric illness is presented. Each of the various treatment options are accompanied by an analysis of advantages, disadvantages, side effects, and other informative information.

Bipolar Puzzle Solution: A Mental Health Client’s Perspective

By: Bryan L. Court and Gerald E. Nelson MD

“187 Answers to Questions Asked by Support Group Members About Living With Manic-depression – A great resource for those with manic-depressive illness! Bipolar Puzzle Solution is a unique book written by a mental health client (with a psychiatrist’s commentary). It contains actual questions from members of bipolar disorder support groups and covers the whole person: physical, emotional, and spiritual components of recovery.”

Hanging Up

By: Delia Ephron

“From the bestselling author of How to Eat Like a Child. Eve Mozell spends most of her life on the phone, talking to her hapless younger sister, listening to her superior older sister, trying to comfort their senile, manic-depressive alcoholic father. Somewhere between the hello and good-bye, she finds a way to cope with the people in her lunatic, lacerating–and ultimately loving–life.”

A Mood Apart: The Thinker’s Guide to Emotion and Its Disorders

By: Peter C. Whybrow, MD

“Brimming with moving case studies of patients grappling with mood disorders, this revolutionary work by one of the country’s most distinguished psychiatrists offers a groundbreaking look at depression, mania, and the moods that affect us all.”

Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania

By: Andy Behrman


By: Ronald Fieve

“This expanded edition updates the research and treatments of depression that have emerged in the last fifteen years. Fieve sheds new light on specific mood disorders such as PMS, seasonal depression, and has new chapters on substance abuse. Contains information and anecdotal stories about depressives and manic depressives; by the individual who spearheaded lithium therapy.”

The Bipolar Advantage

By: Tom Wootton

“Raw, honest and brazen, The Bipolar Advantage draws its examples from the real-life experiences of its author, other people with a bipolar diagnosis and those who have relationships with bipolar people. Pulling no punches, Tom Wootton paints a realistic picture of the bipolar condition in its many faces, then gently guides the reader through the steps necessary to lead an introspective life that greatly ameliorates those symptoms, with the ultimate goal of helping bipolar people gain control of their lives.”

Madness: A Bipolar Life

By: Marya Hornbacher

“Hornbacher, who detailed her struggle with bulimia and anorexia in Wasted, now shares the story of her lifelong battle with mental illness, finally diagnosed as rapid cycling type 1 bipolar disorder. Even as a toddler, Hornbacher couldn’t sleep at night and jabbered endlessly, trying to talk her parents into going outside to play in the dark. Other schoolchildren called her crazy. When she was just 10, she discovered alcohol was a good mood stabilizer; by age 14, she was trading sex for pills. In her late teens, her eating disorder landed her in the hospital, followed by another body obsession, cutting. An alcoholic by this point, she was alternating between mania and depression, with frequent hospitalizations. Her doctor explained that not only did the alcohol block her medications, it was up to her to control her mental illness, which would always be with her. This truth didn’t sink in for a long, long time, but when it did, she had a chance for a life outside her local hospital’s psychiatric unit. Hornbacher ends on a cautiously optimistic note—she knows she’ll never lead a normal life, but maybe she could live with the life she does have. Although painfully self-absorbed, Hornbacher will touch a nerve with readers struggling to cope with mental illness.” Publishers Weekly

Soaring & Crashing: My Bipolar Adventures

By: Holly Hollan

“Holly Hollan’s personal journey into the throes of Bipolar will leave readers with an intimate understanding of the disorder, and a hopeful way to cope with the future. Hollan uses Soaring & Crashing to bring readers into an account of her life with Bipolar. She travels through a troubled childhood, and into an equally tumultuous adulthood, illustrating the ups and downs of this often misunderstood and stigmatized condition. Ultimately, readers will be confronted with the knowledge that those coping with mental illness lead purposeful and full lives, and although the challenges faced by those with bipolar may be of a different nature than those of the general population, in the end we are all simply riding the roller coaster of life.”

In My Head: Living My Life with Bi-Polar

By: Melody Hope

Losing Control: Loving a Black Child with Bipolar Disorder

by Dr. Cassandra L. Joubert


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