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The Bipolar Workbook: Tools for Controlling Your Mood Swings [Paperback]

Monica Ramirez Basco PhD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 21 2005 1593851626 978-1593851620 1

Mood swings may be a part of your life, but the struggle to control them doesn’t have to dominate it. Together with the right course of medication, The Bipolar Workbook can put you back in control. Dr. Monica Ramirez Basco has assembled a versatile toolkit of proven self-help strategies designed to help you recognize the early warning signs of relapse, resist the seductive pull of manic episodes, and escape the paralysis of depression. Whether you’re new to the diagnosis (and not quite sure it fits) or want to enhance your current treatment, this simple program puts you in charge. Easy-to-follow guidelines and worksheets help you identify problem areas and minimize their impact, including ways to:


*Reduce the recurrence and severity of your symptoms.

*Slow things down and get the sleep you need when mania strikes.

*Keep motivated and avoid procrastination when you’re depressed.

*Fine-tune medical treatments to maximize your gains.

*Rein in emotional reactions.

*Stay focused and achieve your goals.


Since every individual’s experience with bipolar disorder is unique, Dr. Basco encourages you to customize a plan that suits your needs. So take charge and make a better life.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Bipolar Workbook: Tools for Controlling Your Mood Swings + The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, Second Edition: What You and Your Family Need to Know + Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner
Price For All Three: CDN$ 47.05

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"It is widely agreed that when patients with bipolar disorder learn to manage the illness, the treatment, and their lives, much better results follow. But how to do this has rarely been specified. This workbook answers that need. Clearly written, easy to read, and loaded with specific suggestions, techniques, tools, and procedures that every patient can use, this book provides the best recommendations for people with bipolar illness that I have ever seen. I highly recommend it."--A. John Rush, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

"As someone involved with bipolar disorder as both a clinician and a parent, I know how important it is for people to learn to control and manage their symptoms instead of their disorder controlling them. This wonderful workbook is practical and easy to use--it will help people with the disorder make positive changes in their lives. In addition, family members will better be able to understand what their loved one is going through and what they can do to help."--Nancy Ferguson-Noyes, RN, CS, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist and mother of a 15-year-old with bipolar disorder

"Invaluable for people with bipolar disorder. Dr. Basco clearly lays out the 4-step plan to See It Coming, Take Precaution, Reduce Your Symptoms, and Check Your Progress. There is an excellent discussion of the issues that people face in coming to terms with the diagnosis. This excellent book will help people understand that getting the correct diagnosis is an opportunity to make sense of the past and prepare for the future. The Workbook is filled with excellent and easy-to-use forms that will be helpful in recognizing mood shifts, developing a plan of action, challenging unrealistically positive and negative thinking, and reducing the risk of acting out. People with bipolar disorder will find this to be a daily reminder of how much they can effectively help themselves live happier and more productive lives."--Robert L. Leahy, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University

"Dr. Basco not only offers information about this very difficult illness, but also spells out strategic ways to cope and move forward with life. The Workbook is a beacon of hope for all those suffering from the ups and downs of this disorder."--Laura R., diagnosed 11 years ago

"For many people with bipolar disorder, if not most, medication management is only a partial solution. With this book, expert clinician and master educator Monica Ramirez Basco helps bipolar sufferers and their significant others play a more active role in managing the illness and reducing the risk of relapse. User friendly and a virtual gold mine of practical strategies, this workbook provides essential tools for mastering this all too puzzling illness."--Michael E. Thase, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

"The era of 'take your meds and shut up' is over. Yes, we need our meds, but we also require the personal skills to be smart and vigilant about our illness. Until now, bipolar came with no instruction manual. Dr Basco has delivered the hitchhiker’s guide. Thank heaven we don’t have to be helpless bystanders anymore."--John McManamy, Editor and Publisher, McMan's Depression and Bipolar Weekly

"This isn't the first book for people with bipolar disorder, but it's one of the best. Detailed and user-friendly, the workbook teaches readers how to recognize and control their symptoms, get over common barriers to coping, and improve their self-esteem. In short, it can help people with bipolar illness (and their family members) get more out of life."--Jan Scott, MD, FRCPsych, author of Overcoming Mood Swings

"The Bipolar Workbook is a powerful and easy-to-use companion to Basco and Rush’s groundbreaking book on CBT for bipolar disorder. The Workbook provides patients with a treasure trove of helpful strategies for managing bipolar symptoms and forestalling relapse, while the basic text is the essential resource for therapists who want to implement CBT in clinical practice with this population. Together, the two volumes significantly advance the use of psychosocial interventions for bipolar disorder. I look forward to using these tools with my patients."--Jesse H. Wright, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine
"This workbook successfully guides patients through the course of their illness at an easy-to-understand level and is specific to various stages of the illness. It will help patients gain awareness, understanding, knowledge, and ownership of their illness....This is, undoubtedly, one of the best workbooks on bipolar disorder in a long time. It is thorough, realistic, and should be given to all bipolar patients as part of their treatment plan. Highly recommended! 5 stars!"--Doody's Review Service

"This is, undoubtedly, one of the best workbooks on bipolar disorder in a long time. It is thorough, realistic, and should be given to all bipolar patients as part of their treatment plan. Highly recommended. Five stars."--Doody's Review Service
(Doody's Review Service 2005-12-23)

"A practical, bottom line tool....The structure and focus that counselors struggle to impart to persons with bipolar disorder is effectively presented in this client-friendly workbook....The best part, in my view as a therapist, is the overall tone of the book, which is positive, encouraging, and empowering."--The Masters' Advocate
(The Masters' Advocate 2005-12-23)

"This book will be extremely useful to patients and professionals....This is an excellent example of putting helpful, evidence-based tools and information in the hands of people (and, to a lesser extent, their family) who are experiencing a baffling disorder. -"--PsycCRITIQUES
(PsycCRITIQUES 2005-12-23)

"This workbook successfully guides patients through the course of their illness at an easy-to-understand level and is specific to various stages of the illness. It will help patients gain awareness, understanding, knowledge, and ownership of their illness....This is, undoubtedly, one of the best workbooks on bipolar disorder in a long time. It is thorough, realistic, and should be given to all bipolar patients as part of their treatment plan. Highly recommended! 5 stars!"--Doody's Review Service
(Doody's Review Service 2005-12-23)

About the Author

Monica Ramirez Basco, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, author, lecturer, and researcher. She is an internationally recognized expert in cognitive-behavioral therapy and a founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Her books include The Bipolar Workbook and The Procrastinator's Guide to Getting Things Done.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing hope July 6 2009
Before reading this book, I thought that the only treatment needed for bipolar disorder was medication. I had no idea that a person could learn to control the disorder - predict and prevent episodes, limit the damage of episodes once begun, and generally protect one's family life, friendships, and career. This book is an indispensible guide to really living well with bipolar disorder.
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By Angela
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book to own for anyone who is interested in learning about bipolar disorder or who has the illness.
I like how this book is written, it's easy to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 1 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good examples, exercises for positive thinking
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  68 reviews
94 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful Jan. 19 2006
By yorkshirewrose - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had been looking for a guide/workbook for this. Most books don't cover exercises in depth to help and the few guides I have found, frankly were written so poorly they were of no use.

Then I discovered the Bipolar workbook! All I can say is WOW! Lots of exercises for dealing with bipolar, depression. Dealing with the highs and the lows- or worse. Dealing with your diagnosis. Accepting it. (And I have never seen acceptance in any bipolar book)

Start 2006 off right and get this new book if you are bipolar or have a friend who is.
86 of 94 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars patronizing, overly basic, geared toward bipolar I only March 22 2011
By pommefritz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As someone who suffers from bipolar II with a lot of depression, rapid cycling, and mixed states, I found that this workbook barely addressed my problems and was so simplistic, basic, and frankly patronizing that the exercises weren't helpful at all. Someone who has been trying meds for 4 years without finding a combination that works yet does not need to be convinced to take them: we are desperate for something that will help and are willing to stick to anything that might. I'd like to think, based on my own experience, that the population of people with bipolar have more common sense than to routinely stop taking meds because they "feel better." Many of us know that this is the equivalent of a diabetic stopping insulin.

I purchased this book hoping to find more coping strategies and ways to spot and manage symptoms before they get too severe, to round out my treatment to not just be dependent on meds (especially given above, that mine aren't really doing the job). However, what I mostly found were anecdotes between parents and teens, or overly simplistic little conversations between hypothetical people with no self awareness and their therapists.

If you have any awareness at all of yourself and your symptoms, this really won't present opportunities for learning anything you don't know. If you largely suffer from severe depression, the exercises are overall not that applicable. And the worst thing about this book is its tone: I can't think of any other way than to describe it as patronizing at best.

If you have any self-respect and self-awareness, this is a waste of money and time. On top of it, I wish that the author (and many other authors out there of books about dealing with bipolar) would not assume that "newly diagnosed" is mutually exclusive with "I have known my symptoms and have been trying to deal with them my entire life." Bipolar often begins early in life, and many of us clearly understand the ways that our minds work against us even if we may not have had a word for it until recently.

Still looking for a good, useful book for those dealing with bipolar who want to make effective changes in our lifestyles and learn more about heading off severe symptoms. I hope that one is published someday.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource! March 19 2007
By Dr. P. McWhorter - Published on Amazon.com
I recommend this to all my clients with Bipolar Disorder that I see in my private practice. This well-written workbook allows clients to easily grasp how to recognize triggers and better manage symptoms. Medication management is only half the battle, and this workbook teaches clients to appropriately manage the other half.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beginners outlook Jan. 11 2007
By christine313 - Published on Amazon.com
I enjoyed this book. I really wasnt aware of all my symptoms before a manic episode or before hitting a really low place. I got a chance to monitor and track where I was each day and thought the book provided an excellent source of education for people who are newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder. If you are more advanced in your studies with bipolar though and understand how it works, what happens, some parts may bore you. But the workbook part was excellent.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bipolarity manual June 14 2007
By CHARLA NICH - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Bipolar Workbook" is a simply written, informative tutorial on identifying the symptoms, triggers, actions, and consequences of bipolar thinking and behavior. It's got lots of worksheets so the reader can plug in her/his own life events to map out past problems, identify personal trends, and plan for future success. It is a good aid to therapy or self-help workbook. I'd like to see it as an interactive CD, especially to help bipolar adolescents with coexisting attentional deficits.
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