Living With Bipolarity Publication date : October 4, 2012
Raphaël Giachetti is a psychiatric physician specialising in bipolar disorder, an area in which he provides training for psychiatrists. He works in Toulouse. In 2006, he participated in creating the first psycho-education programmes for patients with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depression, has become increasingly common. In France alone, two million people have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, their lives alternating between highs and lows, between (hypo)mania and depression, exaltation and despair. This means that at least ten million people (patients’ parents, partners, children) are confronted with a bewildering disorder that not only has serious consequences for patients but also causes their families great suffering.
How should we interpret the sharp increase in bipolar disorder? Various factors can be held responsible: the stress of living in post-modern societies, the violence of human relations, our exhausting lifestyles and personal biological factors, notably each individual’s capacity (or incapacity) to face and deal with life and its attendant problems. Fortunately, medicine is now capable of detecting disorders that were previously either ignored or, in their more serious manifestations, associated with madness.
The goals of this work are manifold: to help the families and friends of patients understand bipolar disorder; to enable them to accept its manifestations, particularly the havoc it creates in patients’ relations to others; to change the way others regard the bipolar person, so as to avoid incomprehension and rejection.
• Bipolar disorder explained to patients and their loved ones.
• A better understanding of the disorder to dedramatise it.
• A dynamic approach helps emphasise the book’s most important messages: the author-physician answers questions asked by patients and their families and friends.