What resources do you recommend and why?
(Books, documentaries, websites etc … anything at all.)
There are a few that I’ve read or refer to in order to help myself cope and be better educated. In no specific order. Websites, books, songs that resonate with me.
As far as websites:
- National Institute of Mental Health – A good “Cliff’s Notes” description of bipolar disorder, as well as information on other mental illnesses.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness – Another good resource on the basics.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – For dual-diagnosis (mental health and substance abuse).
- Depression and Bipolar Alliance – General information on depression and bipolar disorder.
- Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities – Philadelphia support.
- An Unquiet Mind – Kay Redfield Jamison
- A First-Rate Madness – Nassir Ghaemi — Chronicles the connection between mental illness and history’s leaders.
- Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running From Madness – Suzy Favor Hamilton — A three-time Olympian shares her experience with living with mental illness while on the world’s biggest athletic stage.
- I Am Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! – Dr. Xavier Amador — Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia from a clinical standpoint.
- Cracked, Not Broken – Kevin Hines — A man who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge–and survived. His story has stayed with me since I was introduced to it in a mental health training.
- All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven — The main character fantasizes about suicide. Not necessarily bipolar disorder, but an interesting story. It’s written in the form of diary entries.
- Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See – Juliann Garey — Written by an author with bipolar disorder, the main character chronicles his journey through ECT and a quest for his memory.
- The Other Side of Me – Julie Kraft — A memoir aimed at dismantling stigma.
Music — A few songs currently in my ears:
- Barenaked Ladies – Crazy, Who Needs Sleep?, Brian Wilson, a few others. Steven Page, one of the former lead singers and co-founders, openly lives with bipolar disorder.
- Dream Theater – About to Crash
- Steven Page — His newest two part album: Heal Thyself Part 1: Instinct, Part 2: Discipline (my favorite is “Here’s What It Takes”), Indecision. Steven Page is open about his mental illness and substance abuse.
- fun. – Some Nights
- Enter the Haggis – Rolli, Salvation (neither are necessarily about bipolar disorder, but both songs deal with memory loss/dementia, and I couldn’t have a list like this without them.)
- Nate Borofsky – Rule Number One, Sane
- Sean McCann – Help Yourself, Doin’ Fine, Take Off My Armour, several others. Sean McCann is open about living with mental illness and surviving trauma/sexual abuse.
- Panos Kiamos – Trelokomeio. A Greek song. About a couple fighting and ending up in the psych hospital.
- Radiohead – Paranoid Android
- Drive-By Truckers – Baggage
- Next to Normal — The main character is going through treatment for bipolar disorder following the death of her son. It not only explores her experience, but that of her family and friends. Ever since I was introduced to it as “Feeling Electric” when it was in workshops, I related so hard to it…well before my diagnosis.