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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable for anyone with bipolar disorder - and their carers, 13 Aug 2009
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This review is from: Bipolar Disorder - The Ultimate Guide (Paperback)
I am posting this review from a friend in South Africa at her request as I gave her this book as a gift and so she wasn't able to post a review on Amazon herself.

My daughter is 22 years old and has bipolar disorder. I live in South Africa and having read this book, it is as if a light has come on for me. For years I have been trying to manage my daughter's illness in the dark but I can now see how she has had bipolar disorder all along. She had seen psychologists since the age of nine and was eventually, at the age of 15, diagnosed with severe depression. She kept taking herself off the medication and then a different psychologist would put her on it again. But she was often so happy and outgoing that no one believed that she was depressed. Then at the age of 19 she was tested for bipolar disorder and it was immediately confirmed. The medication made a big difference and she was once again able to cope with life. However, I did not have any tools to help her in other ways. I assumed that the medication on its own would sort her out. Only since reading the book do I understand what the implications are for the carer. I have made BIG mistakes and can see, in hindsight, how they contributed to her mania and depression. I can also see how many of her childhood idiosyncrasies were actually symptoms of bipolar disorder. I am so glad that children can now be diagnosed earlier - even if they are not put onto medication - so that their environment can become "bipolar friendly". I would have done so many things differently, had I known earlier. The other issue the book highlighted very strongly was that the illness is hereditary. I will make sure that my son and my brother read the book, as their children or grandchildren may have this illness. What I have also changed, is not saying that my daughter is bipolar, but that she has bipolar disorder.
The last chapter of the book, mentioning all the famous people who have been diagnosed with the illness, or are thought to have had the illness, makes it so much more "ok" to have the illness oneself. The in-depth information about sectioning is also most illuminating as it reveals how severe this illness really is. Here in South Africa there are still so very many people that think that one can just "pull oneself together". I have finally found a sense of peace and can share that with my daughter and the rest of my family. I have recommended this book to everyone who has bipolar disorder or who knows someone with the illness. Thank you, Sarah and Amanda, for your excellent research and for taking the trouble to write this book.
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