Books can be incredibly powerful, and some even have the ability to change the way you view life, help you understand it better, plus give you the knowledge you need to live life to the fullest. So, we've pulled together a list of our top books on bipolar disorder – these are not in order of recommendation, just simply books we feel give great insight into the condition.

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Bipolar Disorder – The Ultimate Guide' by Sarah Owens and Amanda Saunders

Bipolar Disorder – The Ultimate Guide is the A – Z guide you need to get a comprehensive understanding of the condition. The 2nd edition of the book (published last year) is coming out as an audiobook. It’s launching on 8th October to coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2020. "Our team regularly use it as a reference and we recommend it to all our peer support volunteers. They’ve compiled the latest research and thinking on bipolar in an accessible format that is appropriate for friends, families, professionals and of course people living with bipolar." Simon Kitchen CEO Bipolar UK   

If you, or a friend or family member, is diagnosed with bipolar, or if you suspect that someone you know may have bipolar then this book is a fantastic first port of call for advice and support. Written in an extremely helpful question and answer format, this comprehensive and compassionate guide draws on a broad range of expert opinion, the very latest research, and personal experience to explore and explain everything that someone who has bipolar, friend, relative or carer might want to know about bipolar disorder. Including numerous real-life case studies and a full list of support organisations and internet resources around the world, this handy blend of advice and insight will answer all your questions, from how to recognise the symptoms to how to explain to a child that their parent has been diagnosed.

The Truth About Broken by Hannah Blum

In her first book, The Truth About Broken: The Unfixed Version of Self-Love Hannah Blum redefines what it means to love yourself and takes readers on an unforgettable journey towards embracing what makes them different. It’s self-love from the perspective of someone living with bipolar disorder in a society that has labelled her and others with the condition as broken. Hannah is also the author of mental health blog Halfway2Hannah.


Bring Me to Light by Eleanor Segall

An aspiring actress and family girl, Eleanor never thought her future would be derailed by mental illness. After a spate of depressive and manic episodes, panic attacks and social anxiety, Eleanor found herself in The Priory at 16. The diagnosis... bipolar I. Now she’s a successful blogger, journalist, and pillar of the mental health and Jewish communities. In her book Bring Me to Light: Embracing my Bipolar and Social Anxiety she writes about recovery and finding hope after being unwell.


To Walk on Eggshells by Jean Johnston and The Naked Birdwatcher by Suzy Johnston

A unique insight into bipolar from mother and daughter. Two books, two women – one journey of recovery – two perspectives.

To Walk on Eggshells gives an open, honest account of what it is like to care for a family member with bipolar disorder. The author Jean Johnston recounts how she dealt with the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of her daughter, Suzy.

The Naked Birdwatcher in this personal and poignant story of recovering from bipolar, Suzy highlights the importance of good psychiatric care, support and the value of self-management.

Mummy’s Got Bipolar by Sonia Mainstone-Cotton

Bipolar affects thousands of people in the UK, and many of them are parents. Sophie and Katie's mummy is one of them. Discover some of the highs and lows of having a mummy with bipolar from a child's perspective, in this gentle and thought-provoking story of family life Mummy's Got Bipolar by Sonia Mainstone-Cotton.


Me, Myself and Bipolar Brenda, Journals of a Chaotic Mind by Natasha Naomi Rea

 "Gravely honest, emotional and open. Natasha’s story is intensely personal and captivating." USA Today bestselling author Claire C Riley. 

Me, Myself and Bipolar Brenda tells the story of actress Natasha Naomi Rea and her journey through bipolar, single motherhood and trying to live the best life possible. Filled with poignant and passionate diary entries, she gives us a dark insight on the triggers of mental health. She speaks from the heart and lets you learn the ups and downs of life with bipolar. 

Natasha is now an ambassador for Bipolar UK and the #SpeakOutLikeBrenda campaign which encourages people to speak their truth about mental health and living with bipolar.


An Unquiet Mind, A Memoir of Mood and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison

Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison revolutionised the field of psychiatry when she wrote about her own struggle with bipolar disorder. Kay experienced her first manic episode at seventeen years old. Throughout the next 30 years, she rode a rollercoaster of mania and depression that made her feel either insane or suicidal. Throughout this time, she struggled to build a career as a professor of psychology and clinician. After a life of suffering, she finally decided to write this book An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness to reduce the shame and stigma surrounding a life of mental illness.


I’m Telling The Truth, But I’m lying by Bassey Ikpi

From her early childhood in Nigeria through her adolescence in Oklahoma, Bassey Ikpi lived with a tumult of emotions, cycling between extreme euphoria and deep depression. By the time she was in her early twenties, Bassey was a spoken word artist and traveling with HBO's Def Poetry Jam, channelling her life into art. But beneath the façade of the confident performer, Bassey's mental health was in a precipitous decline, culminating in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalisation and a diagnosis of bipolar II. 

In I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying, Bassey Ikpi breaks open our understanding of mental health by giving us intimate access to her own. Exploring shame, confusion, medication, and family in the process, Bassey looks at how mental health impacts every aspect of our lives – how we appear to others, and more importantly to ourselves – and challenges our preconception about what it means to be normal. Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are – and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie.


The Bipolarfly Effect by Kirsti Alexandra

At twenty-six, Kirsti Alexandra had been living and working in Paris for almost four years. After deciding to work freelance designing fashion apparel and contributing to style columns, she had a break down and was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder. Secretly she had been struggling with the symptoms of bipolar from a young age and had done everything in her power to hide it. But it had gone too far and she was no longer in control. In her book The Bipolarfly Effect, Kirsti’s journey is one of black and white thoughts and non-existent grey area. Her in the moment emotions are documented through intermittent diary entries, immersing you directly in her depression and hypomanic episodes.


The Other Side of Me – Memoir of a Bipolar Mind by Julie Kraft

In this unforgettable memoir, The Other Side of Me – Memoir of a Bipolar Mind, first-time author Julie Kraft takes readers on an intimate journey through her struggles and triumphs with bipolar disorder. No stone is left unturned. In baring her skeletons and soul, Julie offers a rare glimpse into a world that affects millions but is often misrepresented, feared, or hidden. It is Julie's greatest hope that in sharing her story she will open minds, shatter stigma, and offer hope to those walking a similar path.

High Tide, Low Tide: The Caring Friend's Guide to Bipolar Disorder by Martin Baker 

How can you be a good friend, when your friend lives with bipolar? We all want to be there for our friends, but when your friend lives with bipolar it can be hard to know what to do, especially if you live far apart. Transatlantic best friends Martin Baker and Fran Houston share what they’ve learned about growing a supportive, mutually rewarding friendship between a “well one” and an “ill one.” High Tide, Low Tide: The Caring Friend’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder offers no-nonsense advice from the caring friend’s point of view, original approaches and practical tips, illustrated with real-life conversations and examples.

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