Title A Spectrum Approach to Mood Disorders
Subtitle Not Fully Bipolar But Not Unipolar—Practical Management
Author James Phelps
ISBN 9780393711462
List price USD 32.00
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Hardbound
No of pages 272
Book size 165 x 241 mm
Publishing year 2016
Original publisher W W Norton & Company
Published in India by W W Norton & Company
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
About the book Send Enquiry


“[A] tremendous resource to help differentiate between cases of mood disorder or bipolar disorder. Dr. Phelps is a respected and highly-experienced physician. He presents a thorough and convincing explanation of the nuances of accepting that a broad spectrum of mood disorders does exist. Professionals who acknowledge this will be able to use Dr. Phelps’ book to provide patients with the focused, in-depth treatment they require.”

— PsychCentral


“Engaging, wise, and superbly practical, this book addresses the complexity of the subject matter while providing an accessible guide for a range of health professionals to improve the treatment of mood disorders. The author integrates research and decades of clinical experience with a refreshing candor, inspiring you to think. The value of this book lies not only in the empowerment of the treating provider, but also in emphasizing the empowerment of the individual seeking treatment.”

— Lea Burns, PsyD, Primary Care Psychologist, Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic


“How we think about recognizing and treating mood disturbances profoundly impacts how we treat them. And nowhere is there more confusion in clinical psychiatry than at the meeting point of mania and depression. James Phelps’ impressive new book A Spectrum Approach to Mood Disorders goes a long way toward ending the confusion and helping the mental health clinician take a balanced and reasoned approach to the treatment of the many patients who show a range of mood disturbances over time. It should be mandatory reading for everyone about to prescribe, or take, an antidepressant or mood stabilizer.”

— Charles Raison, MD, Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families; Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin-Madison


How to understand your clients’ true illnesses, not just their DSM checklists.

Though the DSM discusses the criteria for mood disorders in absolute terms—either present or absent—professionals are aware that while such dichotomies are useful for teaching, they are not always true in practice. Recent genetic data support clinicians’ longstanding recognition that a continuum of mood disorders between unipolar and bipolar better matches reality than a yes/no, bipolar-or-not approach. If we acknowledge that continuum, how does this affect our approach to diagnosis and treatment?

In A Spectrum Approach to Mood Disorders, nationally recognized expert James Phelps provides an in-depth exploration of the signs, symptoms, and nuanced presentations of the mood disorder spectrum, focusing on the broad gray area between Major Depression and Bipolar I. Combining theoretical understanding and real-world scenarios, Phelps offers practical treatment guidelines for clinicians to better understand the subtle ways mood disorders can show up, and how to find the most beneficial path for treatment based on the patient’s individual pattern of symptoms.

Is it trauma, or is it bipolar? Borderline? Both? Phelps’s expertise and wealth of personal experience provides readers with unparalleled insight into a subject that is by nature challenging to define. His emphasis on non-medication approaches, as well as chapters on all the major pill-based treatments (from fish oil to lithium to the avoidance of atypical antipsychotics and antidepressants), creates a comprehensive resource for any clinician working with patients on the mood spectrum. Appendices on the relationship between bipolar diagnosis, politics, and religion; and a plain-English approach to the statistical perils of bipolar screening, offer further value.

Phelps has written an invaluable guide of the critical information professionals need to treat patients on the mood disorder spectrum, as well as a useful tool for highly motivated families and patients to better understand the mood disorder that effects their lives. This book seeks to alter the black and white language surrounding these mood disorders to influence a shift in how patients are diagnosed—to insure that treatment matches their specific needs.



Chapter 1. A Spectrum View Better Fits Reality, But What Happens to Diagnosis?

Chapter 2. Increasing Rigor and Improving Communications: Non-manic Markers and the Bipolarity Index

Chapter 3. Anxiety Is a Bipolar Symptoms? Mixed States and the Overlapping Criteria Problem

Chapter 4. Bipolar or Borderline (or PTSD or ADHD)? Managing Difficult Distinctions and Comorbidities

Chapter 5. Getting Ready for Treatment: Principles, Practices, and Problems

Chapter 6. Psychotherapy for the Mid-Spectrum Patient: Selling Social Rhythm Therapy with Virtual Darkness

Chapter 7. Efficacy versus Tolerability: Why Lamotrigine Is the #1 Medication Option for Mid-Spectrum Mood Disorders

Chapter 8. Low-Dose Lithuim Is a Different Drug and Better than Antipsychotics for Mid-Spectrum Patients

Chapter 9. Before Antipsychotics, More Options to Consider

Chapter 10. Managing Thyroid: Not to be Left to Primary Care or Endocrinology

Chapter 11. Antipsychotics: Which and When from a Mood Spectrum View

Chapter 12. Antidepressants: Four Controversies and Nine Solutions

Appendix A: Bipolar Disorders, Politics, and Religion

Appendix B: Overdiagnosis, Predictive Value, and Screening Tests

Appendix C: Non-Medication Approaches to Treatment



About the Author:

James Phelps, MD, is director of the Mood Disorders program at Samaritan Mental Health in Corvallis, Oregon, which serves a five-hospital system. Prior to joining Samaritan Mental Health, Dr. Phelps held a private practice in Corvallis while writing an internationally known website, PsychEducation.org, and teaching across the U.S. He is recognized as a national expert on the topic of bipolar disorder, and has published more than 15 books and journal articles pertaining to mental health.

Target Audience:

Students and Academicians of Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. Also helpful for the people who are suffering from Mood Disorders.

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