Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Parenting Bipolar Children

The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child: A Survival Guide for Parents by Judith Lederman and Candida Fink. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003, 308 pages. ISBN: 0-7432-2940-1.

Parenting a bipolar child is not for wimps. Judith Lederman, a parent of a bipolar child has co-written with Candida Fink, a psychiatrist, a survival guide for those parents are caregivers who are raising bipolar children. The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child does an excellent job of providing the nuts and bolts of raising bipolar children. The book is well written and intelligible to the general reader. The author has written for The New York Times and a number of national magazines. The author's own experience of raising a bipolar child adds to the helpfulness of the book.

The book is divided into four parts. The first part is about the bipolar child. It contains chapters on diagnosis, picking a mental health team, mood swings, medications, structuring the child's schedule, and hospitalization. The second part covers the "child in the world." Topics covered are school, camps, family and friends, and legal matters. The third part covers the immediate family of the bipolar child. One of the bests chapters in the book is the stress on the caregiver taking care of herself. Another important chapter is the one on the non bipolar sibling or siblings. The last section covers finances. One chapter discusses career. and the other chapter covers how to pay for meeting the needs of the bipolar child.

The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child is a book that all bipolar parents will want to own. It will also be helpful for anyone working with bipolar kids. The book is realistic and provides many helpful ideas. Some other books on raising bipolar kids that are helpful: The Bipolar Child by Demitri Papolos, What Works for Bipolar Kids by Mani Pavuluri, Positive Parenting for Bipolar Kids by Many Ann McDonnell and Janet Wozniak, and Bipolar Kids: Helping Your Child Find Calm in the Mood Storm by Rosalie Greenberg.

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