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Nancy's Notes July 3, 2008

“The Bipolar Disorder Answer Book” by Charles Atkins, M.D., Breaking the Cycle of Divorce by John Trent, Ph.D., “Stop Prediabetes Now" by Jack Challem Dr. Ron Hunningham, “The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch.

            The weather has changed once again. Now it’s either too hot or  too buggy to go out. We’re never satisfied. Remember it is never to hot, cold, wet, dry, or buggy to read a good book. They will entertain you when you are sick of reruns, riding in the car on vacation, or in the mood to relax. If you are putting on miles this summer you may wish to check out one of our many books on cd. You can listen as you drive and break up the monotony.

            This week I picked non-fiction selections for my article. The inter-net is full of resources but don’t forget the library also has reference materials.

            We have recently added several selections on mental illness. Charles Atkins, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist who is on the faculty at Yale University. We have purchased his book “The Bipolar Disorder Answer Book”. He states approximately 5.7 million American adults have bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive illness. It causes abnormal shifts in a person’s mood and ability to function. This reference provides advice and answers questions such as: what are the symptoms, does it run in families, what strategies can help reduce the severity of the mood swings, when should someone go for treatment, how important is medication, and the risk factors for this disorder.

            Dr. John Trent is the president of the Center for Strong Families and StrongFamilies.com that trains leaders to build and lead marriage and family programs in their communities. He speaks at conferences across the country. Trent states statistics indicate that if your parents are divorced, you’re far more likely than someone from an “intact” family to get divorced. He cites the fact that children of divorce may have a higher school dropout rate, a higher incidence of drug use, and increased relational struggles. He offers insights into why adult children of divorce tend to repeat their parents’ mistakes and lays out a plan for making changes.

            Personal nutrition coach, Jack Challem, and Physicain Dr. Ron Hunningham have written “Stop Prediabetes Now”. Prediabetes has reached epidemic proportions. It is related to being overweight and can lead to full-blown diabetes. The authors have developed a four-week program to help you eat healthier, become more active, and show you how to loose weight. They explain how the type of food you eat contributes to your cravings, increasing weight, and boosting blood sugar levels that can lead to diabetes.

            My final book, “The Last Lecture”, has been on the bestseller list for some time. Author Randy Pausch is a professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He was asked to give a “last lecture”, where you deliver your last words of wisdom or your legacy. Pausch was asked to consider what he would like to impart to the world if it was his last chance to deliver such a message.  The professor had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer and wished to give a lecture on “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”. It was not about dying but about overcoming obstacles. He told the audience “Time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think.”

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