Book Reviews

Book Review: Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder

51ANHaURwAL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_ This week I read a great book from Julie A. Fast and John D. Preston, PsyD called Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder. Though I’m the one with bipolar disorder in my family, this book had a lot of great insight on managing the disease and making life as stable and healthy as possible for my partner and me.
 
One of the biggest takeaways for me was the idea of mourning the loss of a “normal” relationship (whatever that even is), so you can move forward in your relationship as a bipolar affected couple. I’d never considered how important it was to just kind of accept that our lives are always going to be different than the lives of those who don’t have to deal with bipolar disorder every day. I wanted to pretend that wasn’t the reality, brace against it hard as I could. I like the idea of mourning the loss and moving on.
 
The major theme throughout the book is the idea of treating bipolar disorder first. Every day you have to make sure you’re doing everything you can to manage the disease and that’s really all there is to it. I’ve often wanted to pretend I could let my bipolar treatment fall to the wayside and just live my life, but this book really brought it home that that’s not an option for me. There’s something always relieving about someone else telling me I have to do that. Permission to take care of my illness first. How liberating.
 
Overall, I thought the book was full of lots of great information, both for people with bipolar disorder and for those who love them. Though it’s geared toward partners, I’m sure that parents, siblings, and friends could all learn a lot about the illness from it. I’ll definitely be recommending it again and againo

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder

  1. Hi there. Being bipolar myself I completely relate to the acceptance that life will always be different for us as a family. My husband is brilliant and I’m always aware that he is having a harder run of it than me. It’s him having to hold it together while I behave quite outrageously at the best of times. I’ve just started my blog and as its a huge part of who I am I will be talking about the way it affects us and hopefully putting a positive take on it all from my point of view. Please come and have a look.

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  2. Thank you for sharing. Talking about how Bipolar effects you and your loved ones makes great sense. Talking opens so many minds to understand it is okay to be “different” because we are all different. Treating any disease needs to be taken care of first and foremost, only you can do this so you are in control. Cheers!

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  3. Well, aside from the fact that I tend to think that the “normal relationship”, like the unicorn is a mythical beast, and “normal” human is at best a statistical fiction, the advice of the book seems on the mark. It is hard for any relationship to succeed if one or both partners is/are not taking care of themselves. A mental illness just raises the stakes a lot. Mourning the loss of “normal” is important. It frees you to be the people you really are. Thanks for the review.

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  4. What a great point, about accepting that the bipolar-affected relationship is always going to be different from ones not affected by the illness. I imagine that it must be a relief, in a way, to not feel pressured to keep shoving a square peg into a round hole. That your relationship is shaped differently and that’s okay.

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