Category Archive: Books

Sep 16

Surround Yourself with Happiness

We are truly blessed to have Deborahmichelle Sanders’ permission to run some abstracts from her book The Complete How to Repair Your World Toolkit. One of the ideas that she talks about in great detail is the importance of how your home is set up and decorated. Some of her ideas follow… Display as many …

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May 30

Herd Instinct in Humans

Herd Instinct in Humans: The Source of Anxiety and Depression? Jeffrey Kahn has written a fascinating book (Angst: Origins of Anxiety and Depression in Oxford Press) suggesting an evolutionary source for much of human psychopathology. He gave a Grand Rounds presentation at UCLA in February of 2015 that outlined some of his theories and that …

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May 13

Hypomania and Success

Hypomania and Success

During the 1990s clinical psychologist John Gartner was planning on writing a book about religious movements started by manic profits, but he began to be distracted by the energy and excitement swirling around him as people became immersed in the Internet “bubble”. He decided instead to write a book about the relationship between hypomania and success …

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Dec 04

Welcome to the Jungle

welcome to the jungle

Since Welcome to the Jungle is a book about bipolar written for young adults. And since most people are diagnosed with bipolar as young adults, often thrown into a world of confusingly contradictory information, needing to suddenly understand a complicated condition, and make important self care decisions, when they have only recently started living independently, …

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Nov 17

Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle is a nice addition to the large list of bipolar self help books. Hillary Smith has written a book for the young person dealing with a new diagnosis. The information is up to date, but the tone is informal, and respectful of the mix of feelings that many people have facing …

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Nov 10

Bipolar Education Program

Bipolar Education Program

Doctors often do a poor job of educating their patients about their health problems. That is particularly troubling when you are talking about a condition as complicated as bipolar. We have been working on an educational program for this site based on the Barcelona psycho-education program for bipolar, to be called Bipolar 101. The Barcelona …

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Sep 06

A Master Storyteller Writes About Homeless People

Master Storyteller Writes About Homeless

Silent Voices: People with Mental Disorders on the Street Dr. Okin is a master story teller. Still, when I decided to read the book I was ambivalent. I thought to myself, this is a book that I should read, and reluctantly put it in my bag for the holiday weekend. It turned out to be …

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Nov 11

Learn How to Hardwire Happiness

As many of you know, I am a big fan of the new book, Hardwiring Happiness. One of the blog’s readers sent me this link to an upcoming class by the author – The class is this coming Saturday, and should be a GREAT experience. If you go I would love to hear from …

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Nov 01

Protected: Making Sense of Mental Illness in a Family Member

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Oct 23

Hardwiring Happiness

Sometimes it is simple ideas that resonate the most powerfully with our psyches.  This week I have found myself, again and again, thinking about the fairly simple but quite elegantly described ideas in the book Hard Wiring Happiness. I should probably admit that I’ve only gotten about half way through the book, but even so, …

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Aug 24

“Normal” Sleep

One of the justifiable criticisms of psychiatry is that it has a tendency to define a relatively narrow range of behavior as normal. We often tell the psychiatry residents to watch out for this tendency, and try to avoid it. Certainly sleep medicine is at least as prone to this tendency as psychiatry, as we …

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May 17


In the next few days the American Psychiatric Association is meeting in San Francisco and will announce the latest version of its diagnostic and statistical manual: DSM5. Tom Insel, the Chief of the National Institute for Mental Health, created quite a stir last week by seeming to announce that the new diagnostic manual was an …

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Mar 29

Forum Technical Problems

For some reason, this week, when I have tried to access the discussion forum, I have been unable to do so, using my Google Chrome web browser. I know that earlier this week, there were a lot of problems with Internet access generally because of an ongoing war between spammers and an anti-spam service, but …

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Nov 23


The “hot” thing in the therapy world these days is something called ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). The radical notion behind ACT is that therapy should not be primarily about reducing symptoms (like depression) but rather increasing our ability to have a valued life (a life that is based on our deepest values) even though …

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Oct 29

Carl Rogers Quotes from Becoming a Person

Carl Rogers was one of the most influential people in my life. In a time of turbulence and uncertainty I find it often helpful to review the first chapter in his book “.” It is a short chapter but filled with wisdom. In a world that often seems focused on getting things done, reaching the …

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Sep 30

Imperfect Bodies

In his book, “The Heart of Man,” Erich Fromm wrote about two modes of being – one he called biophilia (the love of life and living things) and the other he called necrophilia (a love of order, control, and, ultimately of death). Fromm was very much affected by the experience of Nazi Germany. And much …

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Sep 15

Bad Memories

Unstable moods and bad memories seem to go together. In the clinic where many of us work we have noticed how often it is that folks who we see with bipolar have had traumatic experiences in childhood. Why that happens is speculation. But we do know that dealing with those experiences can be very, very …

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Aug 15

Making Good Relationships: 4 Behaviors Predictive of Divorce

In a previous post we talked about our view that what is most important in successful long term relationships is not so much who we choose but how we build the relationship (of course, if you choose someone without morals or who is seriously disturbed, this doesn’t probably apply to you). But we deferred discussing …

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Aug 04


Why are some people able to move through difficult situations, and others seem to get stuck in them? A lot of what distinguishes people who lead successful lives from those who struggle has to do with how much we are affected by negative events. There isn’t really much we can do to avoid setbacks (even …

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Aug 01

Self Compassion


I once worked with a lovely woman who had a personal assistant who yelled at her all day.  She hurled insult after insult, screaming loudly in her ear things like—You’ll never get that done! There you go again, you idiot! Give it up, you’re never going to amount to anything! This is pointless, you may as …

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