Books about bipolar disorder fiction (7+books)

In this article, “ Books about bipolar disorder fiction” will be discussed, a brief introduction about Bipolar Disorder, some facts about it, classification of bipolar disorders,  books and bipolar disorder and some questions related to the topic.

Some books about bipolar depression are:

  • An unquiet mind: A memoir of mood and madness by 
  • Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher
  • All the bright places by Jennifer Niven
  • Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
  • Manic: A Memoir by Terri Cheney
  • When we collided by Emery Lord
  • Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
  • Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney

Bipolar Disorder

It is a mental disorder classified under Mood Disorder characterized by an extreme shift in the mood. Individuals diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder have episodes of both Mania, elevated mood and Depression, extreme and prolonged sadness.  Bipolar depression is often called Bipolar Diseases or Manic Depression. 

Those individuals diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder find it hard to manage their daily functioning such as in school,workspace as well as in maintaining their relation with others. 

Facts about Bipolar Depression

  • Bipolar disorder is found to be common in individuals from age of 25. 
  • Depression that are caused by Bipolar Disorder tend to last for at least 2 weeks
  • Severe manic episode last for about a few days to weeks
  • Even among those diagnosed with Bipolar Depression, certain people experience the mood swing often times a year while many experience it only rarely. 

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

There are three main symptoms in Bipolar Disorder and these are mania, hypomania and depression. 

When in a manic state of bipolar disorder, the individual tends to feel emotionally high, impulsive, euphoric and excited.

Hypomania is associated with Bipolar II disorder where there is no full-blown mania, however it does result in severe impairment.

Depressive symptoms are known by deep and prolonged sadness, loss of energy, lack of interest, suicidal ideation and disruptions in the sleep cycle.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

There are three broad classifications of Bipolar Disorder and these are Bipolar I, Bipolar II and cyclothymia. 

Bipolar I

The disorder is characterized by at least a single manic episode along with the hypomanic or depressive episode before or after that. It affect both the sex equally.

Bipolar II

It is known the presence of one depressive episode that lasts for 2 weeks and might also have a hypomanic episode for about four days. Bipolar II is more common and frequent in women than men.


People diagnosed with cyclothymia experience both episodes of hypomania and depression. The symptoms tend to be shorter and less severe compared to mania and depression caused in both types of bipolar disorder.

The duration of the symptoms are mostly a month or two in which mood remains stable. 

Books and Bipolar Disorder

Living with bipolar disorder can be challenging and a gruelling task where one constantly has to deal with the everyday challenges that other’s often fail to understand. One had to adjust with the elevated mood and high of mania and hypomania at the same time undergo the lows and sadness of depression. 

This being the case, one can always seek comfort in reading books that are written by authors who have actually been through the same phase of bipolar disorder or read those that have an underlying theme about bipolar. 

Reading books written by them helps one to discover how they dealt with the symptoms and their journey, thus giving ideas about how to approach their own challenges and hardships. 

Books also serve the purpose of giving insight to the loved ones about bipolar disorder and the hardships that educate them about how to handle and support their near ones fighting with bipolar disorder.

Books can also be powerful and possess the ability to change our perspective towards life and to provide a greater insight into the disorder. 

Some of the fiction books with underlying theme on Bipolar Disorders are:

“ An Unquiet Mind: A memoir of moods and madness” by Kay Redfield Jamison

This book is a personal memoir about manic depression and the subject describes the onset of her illness in teenage years and her journey with the realm of treatments. It is more like a deep personal insight into what it feels like to have manic depression.

It reflects the two different perspectives of her as a psychologist and a lived experience of such condition.

“ Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney

Cartoonist Ellen Forney studies the relationship between creative and crazy in this memoir of her bipolar disorder along with stories from other famous bipolar artists and writers.

She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder before turning thirteen and she was terrified by the medication assuming that this will take away her creativity. Since then, she embarked on the journey or the struggle of finding mental stability by retaining her creativity and passions.

Taking inspiration from other artists and writers around the time who also suffered from mood disorders, she tried to make sense of the concept “crazy artist”. 

She also documents clinical features of bipolar disorder, treatment available, strength and limitations of different types of treatments and the findings from studies.

In an overview, this memoir presents a personal yet informative guide to mood disorder and its effect on the work of artists.

“Madness: A Bipolar  Life”by Marya Hornbacher

Marya was diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder which is a severe form of bipolar where she narrates her story through emotional power. She wrote about how she battles with the mood swings and other symptoms by starving herself, use of substances and drugs and self-mutilation. 

It also brings up how Marya fights the madness that almost destroyed her, what is it like to survive along with bipolar disorder and times of happy moments. 

Madness also brings forward how millions of American are struggling with a wide range of disorders and the debate of whether bipolar can be diagnosed in children through her journey of bipolar at the age of four.

“All the bright places” by Jennifer Niven

It is a romantic teen story about Violet Market and Theodore Finch, both attending a high school.Violet was dealing with the death of her sister, Eleneor while Finch was an undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Two of them met in the school bell tower and paired up for a project. Through the time span, their bond becomes stronger to the extent that Finch can fully be himself and live to the fullest. 

Even Violent when with Finch could live her life forgetting about the days. 

This is an intense and indeed a gripping novel.

“Wishful Drinking” by Carrie Fisher

The story is about a girl born to a celebrity parents. She was selected to play the role of princess in a little movie. Owing to that demanding career as well as a single mother, she finds it challenging to balance between the two resulting in spending her spree hours battling with addiction, living with the wild ride of depression and loitering around different mental institutions. 

“When we collided” by Emery Lord

It is a story of two girls in their seventeen shattered and messed up, one of them was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Neither of them expect to meet someone who would light up their world and heal them from the wounds of the past. The summer they spent together made them realize how meeting a right person at the right time could rewrite their future and change forever. 

‘Bring Me to Light’ by Eleanor Segall

The book documents the journey of an aspiring actress diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She never expected her future to be disrupted by her mental illnesses like social anxiety disorder, manic episodes, depression and panic attacks. Her journey of recovery from the mental illnesses and finding hope after these dark phases was mentioned in the book as well.

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

Two books with a single story about two women, a mother and a daughter about their journey of recovery from bipolar. 

‘To walk on Eggshells’ provides an honest review about living with and caring for a family member diagnosed with bipolar. The author narrates her daughter’s journey.

‘The Naked Birdwatcher’ presents the story of recovery from bipolar and highlights the need for proper psychiatric care and support for the treatment.

‘Mummy’s Got Bipolar’ by Sonia Mainstone-Cotton

Bipolar is one of the most common disorders prevailing in a wide range of age groups. Having a mother who is diagnosed with Bipolar can be tough.This is a story about two daughters with a mother who is diagnosed with Bipolar the child’s perspective of living through the highs and lows of a mother. 

Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament by Kay Redfield Jamison

This work provides a link between creativity and manic depression.  The intensity of anguish associated with artistic characteristic was believed to be a symptom of genius in early days however, with research it was revealed that subjects experiencing highs and lows were in fact believed to be an indicator of manic depressive illness. 

These are some of the most popular books with an underlying theme of bipolar disorder. Other than those, there are many more books that portrays lived experience of bipolar disorder or with the theme of caring and living with a person with bipolar disorder. 

FAQs: Books about bipolar disorder fiction

What is the best book on bipolar disorder?

Some of the best book on Bipolar Disorder for the family of bipolar disorder patient as well as it the patient itself are:

The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: David J. Miklowitz
Bipolar Disorder: A guide for patients and families: Francis Mark Mondimore
Why am I still depressed?: Jim Phelgs
An unquiet mind: A memoir of Moods and Madness: Kay Redfield Jamison

What is the best job for someone with bipolar disorder?

Some of the best job options for people with Bipolar Disorder are:

Massage Therapist
Hearing aid specialist
Web developer
Support for success
Medical Record Technician

How do you love someone with bipolar disorder?

One can love someone with bipolar disorder by:

Reducing their stress
Taking care of oneself and keeping boundaries with the person
Understanding that medication is not always the answer
Having hope
Not focusing only on the illness

What famous person has bipolar disorder?

Some of the famous people with bipolar disorder are Buzz Aldrin, David Harbour, Demi Lovato, Frank Sinatra, Brian Douglas Wilson and many more.

Can a bipolar person live without medication?

No, it is not manageable without medication since it is a long term mental health condition causing severe impairment in their mood. These symptoms negatively affect their life.

Can bipolar people tell they are bipolar?

No, not everyone with bipolar will know that they have the disorder. Many people don’t realise that they have bipolar episodes unless diagnosed by a mental health professional.


In this article, “ Books about bipolar disorder fiction” was discussed, a brief introduction about Bipolar Disorder, some facts about it, classification of bipolar disorders,  books and bipolar disorder and some questions related to the topic.

Links for more information and books related to BIpolar Disorder


good reads. (n.d.). Bipolar Disorder Books. goodreads.

Migdol, E. (2019). 16 Books That Have Helped People Through Bipolar Disorder. The mighty.