What to Get the Bipolar in your Life for Christmas
Yup, it’s the gift-giving season. I’m buying some gifts that I can’t afford and others that I don’t like. Ah, the holidays.
But the question is, are there gifts that are actually appropriate for someone with bipolar disorder?
Actually, yes, there are.
Bipolar Christmas Gifts
Here are a few Christmas gifts that I think people with bipolar disorder could use.
- A light box – this is a gift that you really should check with the person with bipolar before you buy, but light boxes are great gifts. These boxes provide sunlight-type-light on even the darkest days and this has been shown to improve mood. See here for light boxes recommended by a doctor and more about light therapy. (Always check with your doctor before starting light box treatment.)
- A sleep mask and earplugs – sleep problems are very common for people with bipolar disorder and these two simple items can make a big different. (See why here.)
- A dawn simulator – this is a fancy kind of alarm clock that wakes the person up using light rather than sound. It simulates the way the sun would wake you up. It’s designed to help with sleep/wake problems and is a lovely way to wake up (I’ve been using one for years.) For more own dawn simulators, including what to buy, see here.
- Light-blocking eyeglasses – to help with getting to sleep, a person with bipolar disorder can block blue spectrum lighting at night. This type of light particularly comes from electronic devices. So instead of turning everything off at night, these glasses can be worn. I’ve been wearing mine for about a year and they really help turn a brain down at night. See more, and where to buy, here.
- ITunes gift certificate – there are a number of mood-tracking apps available on ITunes. Just giving a small gift certificate means that the person can down load one or two and try them out. I recommend that everyone track their moods especially during periods of instability or medication change. (I actually talk about a free mood-tracking app here.)
- Books – Books can be a personal thing, but there are many good ones for people with bipolar disorder. I’ve listed some suggested gifts below, although there are many others.
- A Bipolar Babe t-shirt – OK, I admit, I volunteer for the Bipolar Babe Project so I’m partial to this, but some would like to wear their bipolar and anti-stigma message loud and proud and this is perfect for them. (See the t-shirts and other Bipolar Babe apparel here.)
Do you have any other ideas for what might work for a person with bipolar disorder?
What do you want for Christmas?
Any other good books about bipolar that people should consider for holidays gifts?
Books for the Bipolar
- An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Key Refield Jamison (the quintessential bipolar memoir)
- Electroboy by Andy Behrman (a memoir that focuses a lot on mania)
- The Third Sunrise by my friend Natalie Jeanne Champagne (a memoir primarily about bipolar disorder and addiction)
- A book on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) (Very helpful for many. Get one with a workbook See a list here.)
- Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder – Understanding and Helping Your Partner by Julie A. Fast and John D. Preston, PsyD. (Actually for partners of people with bipolar disorder, but I wanted to list it anyway. See a review I did of it here.)