Bp, a quarterly journal aimed at the 2.5 million Americans with manic depression and their families, made its debut this month, a year after its sister publication, Schizophrenia Digest. Bp's 48-page first issue is thick with drug ads and features articles on coping with the serious mood disorder.


Pfizer and Janssen Pharmaceutica, which make drugs to treat bipolar illness, helped underwrite Bp's first issue. In her publisher's letter Joanne D. Garvey says inspiration for the magazine came from her 91-year-old grandmother, who struggled for decades with bipolar disorder until she was prescribed lithium in her fifties.


Few of the impressively varied articles are noxiously inspirational or downright sappy. There are pieces on genetics, whether to tell your boss you're bipolar and coping with an adolescent who has the disorder. Also included: nutrition tips, which may prove helpful since some antipsychotic drugs cause significant weight gain.


The full-page drug ads are a bit off-putting. Garvey said she hopes to attract mainstream advertisers who have so far shunned Schizophrenia Digest. The back-of-the-book travel feature on "automotive therapy" offers silly advice: Pass the time stuck in traffic by sniffing a bandanna sprinkled with soothing lavender oil.


The cover story about actress Carrie Fisher is especially readable and compelling. The magazine, which has been distributed to the National Mental Health Association and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, costs $19.95 for four issues. It is available by calling 888-834-5537 or at