“Owning Bipolar: How Patients and Families Can Take Control of Bipolar Disorder” is a comprehensive resource for families and patients, who are often misdiagnosed because bipolar symptoms mimic other disorders. Author Michael G. Pipich, MS LMFT (Citadel Press, September, 2018, ISBN: 978-0-8065-3879-2) says, “350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of bipolar disorder but up until now there have been few books addressing the issue.” A forward to the book is written by Joseph Shrand, MD, psychiatrist and Harvard lecturer.
According to a recent study in Scandinavia, a typical patient will have gone without proper care for nearly 10 years, from the first bipolar-type mood event to specific treatment of bipolar disorder. *
In his new book, author Pipich breaks down bipolar disorder into understandable parts so patients and families know what to expect from diagnosis, treatment, and long term management. Pipich says “knowledge is power, and grasping the basics of bipolar disorder can give you the power you need to detect it, accept it, and own the responsibility for treatment and lifelong disease management.”
Pipich advocates for a three- phase approach to treating patients with bipolar disorders that goes far beyond the usual treatment centered on “getting patients on meds and keeping them there.” The three-phases are:
o Pre-stabilization and recognition: confronting the causes of bipolar and the effects, including depression, anxiety, loss of energy, avoidance of responsibilities, and suicidal thoughts
o Stabilization and action: starting effective medication, accepting the disease, and treating different types of bipolar
o Post-stabilization and acceptance: undertaking long-term maintenance, accepting a new identity, coming to terms with responsibilities, including those of caregivers
“I have seen bipolar patients become expert at their own disease, take control of it and live successfully,” Pipich says. “I’ve written Owning Bipolar because I believe that the importance of early diagnosis and patient/family understanding cannot be overestimated,” he added.
Patty’s story in her own words illustrates today’s typical long path to bipolar diagnosis:
I’ve been an emotional wreck all my life. One second I’m calm, the next I am a bundle of nerves. At first I thought puberty was causing this emotional rollercoaster, but as I got older, I realized it had to be something else. I spent years suffering before I searched for help. At first, my doctor treated me for anxiety, but after a few years he decided it was more than that. He referred me to a gynecologist thinking it was PMS (premenstrual syndrome). The gynecologist prescribed Prozac. After a while, she realized it was more than then PMS, so she sent me to a psychiatrist. Finally, I was told I had bipolar disorder. We tried diagnosing bipolar mania, hypomania, & depression, many different medications, and eventually we found a combination of meds that worked. I really want to help others who struggle with bipolar disorder and don’t even know what’s wrong with them.
About the Author
Michael Pipich, MS, LMFT holds a Master of Science degree in Clinical/Community Psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and has treated a wide range of mental disorders and relationship problems in adults and adolescents for over 30 years. In addition to providing clinical evaluations and psychotherapy, Michael has testified as an expert in many legal cases and has taught several graduate-level psychology courses including psychopharmacology, addictions and counseling. He was selected as a Collaborating Investigator by the American Psychiatric Association, performing clinical field trials for the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Michael is also a national speaker on Bipolar Disorder and has been featured on radio and in print media on a variety of topics.Please visit www.michaelpipich.com and www.bipolarnetwork.com.