Bipolar Disorder..Talk Therapy - by Barbara Bergman
Along with medication, talk therapy is used to help bipolar disorder.
Talk therapy provides support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder and their families.
Studies have shown that talk therapy can help increase mood stability, fewer hospitalizations, and improve functioning in daily routines.
Therapy is done by a licensed psychologist, social worker, or counselor. The amount, frequency, and type of sessions are based on each persons needs.
Some commonly used talk therapy are:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): helps people with bipolar disorder learn to change inappropriate or negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with the illness. May include homework such as.. journal, taking notes, or trying a new approach to an old problem.
Psycho-education: teaches people with bipolar disorder about their illness and its treatments. How to recognize signs of a relapse so that early intervention can be sought before a full-blown illness episode occurs. Psycho-education is also extremely helpful to family members.
Family Therapy: uses strategies to reduce the level of distress within the family that can both contribute to and and be a direct result from the ill persons symptoms.
Interpersonal and Social Therapy: helps people with bipolar disorder with their interpersonal relationships and to regularize their daily routines. Regular daily routines and sleep schedules help protect against manic episodes. A time limited and goal-oriented therapy. Focuses on the " here and now".
Talk therapy is not just talking about your problems, it's working towards a solution. Therapy may involve charting your moods, writing about your thoughts, participating in social activities that have caused you anxiety in the past. You will be encouraged to look at things different and learn new ways to react to people and events. Most talk therapy is focused on your current thoughts, feelings, and issues.
Talk therapy helps you:
*understand your illness
*define and reach wellness goals
*overcome fears and insecurities
*cope with stress
*make sense of past traumatic experiences
*separate your true personality from the mood swings caused by your illness
*identify triggers that worsen your symptoms
*improve relationships with family and friends
*plan for the future
*understand your needs
*establish a stable, dependable routine
*develop a plan for coping with crises
*understand why things bother you and what you can do about it
*eliminate destructive habits such as.. drinking, drugs, overspending, and unhealthy sex
*understand and stick with treatment
Getting started...
Make a list of things that bother you and issues you want help with.
(examples) family, changes in eating and sleeping, anger, anxiety, irritability, substance abuse.
Your list should also include things in your medical history:
conditions you are currently be treated for
conditions you have been treated for in the past
known medical conditions of immediate family
medication and food allergies
Use this information as you find a therapist and begin therapy.

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