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  1. Bipolar Disorder: a student's guide
  2. Living with Mental Illness: Books, Stories and Memoirs
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Rush suggested the moral treatment, a humane way of taking care of people afflicted with mental disorders.

  • Background;
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  • Bipolar Disorder: a student's guide;

Gone were shackles and chains used to tie down disruptive psychiatric patients. Hospitals installed game rooms, dining halls were filled with decorations, and gardens were created where patients were free to wander around. The moral treatment was a major shift in the perception of mental disorders.


This positive shift, however, was short-lived. As state budgets were severely limited, mental health programs were the first to go. The reform that swept across the East Coast took several steps backwards with the rise of eugenics, the scientific notion to improve the genetic composition in humans. Adopted radically by Nazi Germany to eradicate the Jewish population, eugenics in America became popular. Many state politicians and hospital directors justified the sterilization of those deemed unfit because they were a burden on the economy.

Hospitals and jails were financially strained, especially during wartime. The mentally ill were treated viciously, with some not seeing a doctor for months or even years. Mad in America takes a hard look at treatments of mental disorders throughout history, therapies such as insulin coma, metrazol convulsive therapy, electroshock and pre-frontal lobotomy, which damaged the brain to prevent aggressive outbreaks in the mentally ill.

Shock therapies could now be taken in pill form, and profits from these pharmaceutical companies have increased annually ever since. Now in the 21st century, there is still much to be discovered in the field of mental health. The mistakes made in the past will shed light on healthy treatments in the future. Robert Whitaker is an American journalist living in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Mad in America was named by Discover Magazine as one of the top science books of Whitaker has won numerous awards as a journalist covering medicine and science, including the George Polk Award for Medical Writing and a National Association for Science Writers Award for best magazine article. One day in the s, Jack Kennedy rushed home to see his wife, Barbara, strapped to a gurney with the paramedics nearby. Their children, outside and ready for school, would see their mother being taken to Napa State Hospital—a result of her refusal to take her medications.

These memories of her mother struggling with mental illness throughout her childhood forced Peggy Kennedy to grow up fast. The youngest of the Kennedy clan, Peggy details the story of how her family fought their way through the pain of mental illness. As the children grow up and leave home, they are all still very connected in helping their mother through the difficulties of managing her illness.

  1. Bipolar Disorder a short introductory guide.
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  5. Years later, after a long stretch of stability, Barbara suffered a major relapse and was once again hospitalized. Those who have someone with a mental illness in their family understand the difficulties of treatment. Peggy Kennedy illustrates how their family was able to cope, survive and move forward in light of it all. She lives with her family in Northern California. For more information, please visit approachingneverland. In , Mark Vonnegut wrote The Eden Express , a memoir detailing his experiences with schizophrenia—which we eventually discover is a misdiagnosis.

    The book garnered attention from consumers and mental health professionals, and propelled Vonnegut to pursue a career in medicine after his recovery. The Vonnegut family has a history of mental illness, including his famous father, American writer Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Vonnegut leaves no stone unturned as he details his struggles with alcohol, living in the shadow of his father, and the road of recovery from bipolar disorder.

    Determined to not let the illness impede his professional and private life, Vonnegut maintained his sanity by keeping busy. From softball games and medical conventions to AA meetings, he was able to live a happy and stable life. With pure honesty and eccentric sense of humor, Vonnegut gives the mental health community not only hope, but unconditional love too. It is recommended for both consumers family members. Mark Vonnegut is currently a primary care pediatrician in the Boston Area. For nearly 20 years, Kiera Van Gelder ran through the gamut of treatment and therapies for her pain, severe mood instability and self-harm.

    The doors at clinics, step programs, churches and pharmacies were constantly revolving in her life. Nothing seemed to make her suffering subside. She was finally diagnosed with borderline personality disorder BPD , a fitting description to her inability to live a functional life. Van Gelder details her struggles with borderline personality disorder and the journey to recovery in her memoir, The Buddha and The Borderline. She is open and honest about the need for validation in her personal relationships, the myriad of unstable moods and her torrid past. Van Gelder embraces Dr.

    She is an international speaker and advocate for borderline personality disorder. When the third-largest recorded earthquake hit in the Indian Ocean in , a devastating tsunami reached the shores of Sri Lanka and neighboring countries, killing hundreds of thousands of people and displacing millions more.

    It was an international emergency, and at the heart of addressing the crisis was Debra Wentz, an executive director of a Mental Heath Agency in New Jersey who understood the importance of identifying symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD in the affected population as soon as possible. The diagnosis and treatment of PTSD by international mental health professionals proved to be more difficult than initially thought.

    Watters also examines the skyrocketing rate of anorexia in women in Hong Kong, the difference between treatment of schizophrenia in Zanzibar and the U. Watters attributes the DSM as a major factor of the American influence in the mental health field throughout the world, for better or for worse. Although there is no denying the benefits of the DSM, many non-Western disorders have been left out.

    As more and more disorders are being grouped together, those suffering from a rare, unpublished illness can be mistreated. It is recommended reading for both consumers and their families to further understand the cultural impact of American psychology across the globe. Locked outside her rented condo, she impatiently waited for the lock-smith so she could give herself the ultimate Christmas gift: a deadly cocktail of pills and a bottle of premium tequila. Cheney was depressed, and the suicidal ideation she had battled for years finally reached its boiling point.

    Days later, she awakened at the county hospital her version of hell to another failed attempt at ending her life. For most consumers, the struggles between the highs and lows of manic depression, commonly known as bipolar disorder, are all too familiar. As a lawyer in the ultra-competitive and notoriously exclusive LA entertainment industry, Cheney shares her difficulties with her personal and professional relationships, an overwhelmingly demanding job, and losing the most important man in her life, her father.

    A truly riveting memoir, where the message for hope is not about peace, not longing for a cure, but for just another day. Preferably a normal one.

    Bipolar Disorder: a student's guide

    A highly recommended read for both consumers and their families. You can visit her website at www. Research has recently demonstrated that learning illness self-management, in addition to medication, can significantly improve the quality of life for anyone with bipolar disorder. Here at last is a practical guide to illness self-management. It includes many exercises that will help you chart your moods, discover your early warning signs, avoid behavior likely to lead to episodes, and examine possible denial.

    Living with Mental Illness: Books, Stories and Memoirs

    Methods of illness self-management like these, together with medication, have helped me avoid further manic episodes. I most heartily welcome this book and urge you to consider using it on your own, with your therapist, or in a group. It could change your life. White and John D.

    An excellent book on the practical aspects of day-to-day coping with bipolar disorder. This book is a good choice on first hearing of the diagnosis.

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    The advice comes first hand as Dr. White herself learned to cope with bipolar disorder. It covers the fundamental issues of getting treatment, taking medication, identifying triggers, reducing stress, getting good sleep and more. Books like this help us to continue that progress. A very informative book for patients and their families. It starts with a detailed discussion of the symptoms and diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

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    It covers all of the most common medications and their side effects. The history of the development of our understanding of the disorder is covered together with a little of the genetics behind the disorder. There is a brief discussion of what is understood of the effect of the disorder within the brain.