Therapy for bipolar disorder is very beneficial in helping the individual regain stabilization in their lives. Therapy consists of several different methods of treatment and should be agreed by the treatment team as well as the individual and his or her family.
Psychotherapy or Talk therapy is a very beneficial method in treating bipolar disorder without drugs. Many individuals opt for talk therapy in lieu of prescription medicines. However, at times the individual and their therapist may decide that a mood stabilizer is necessary. This medication may or may not be in addition to continued Talk therapy.
There are several different types of psychotherapy. Behavioral therapy for one, concentrates on things that cause you stress and ways to overcome it. Cognitive therapy approach entails being taught to recognize and change the patterns of thinking that go along with mood swings. Interpersonal therapy is another form of psychotherapy. This involves relationships and aims to minimize tension that the illness may cause. Yet another type of talk therapy is Social Rhythm therapy. This therapy helps the person form and keeps them on task with daily routines.
Support groups are also helpful to people with bipolar disorder. Support groups give assistance; teach survival skills, and share concerns, ideas and suggestions. Further, support groups provide a way to get out and meet people with similar illnesses. Perhaps once you become comfortable you might even make a new friend or two. Family and friends might also benefit from support groups.
Acquiring an understanding of the illness and sharing concerns, worries and fears can help tremendously in understanding what the sufferer is feeling. Acquiring this knowledge will help them give the support and loving encouragement the person with bipolar disorder needs. Education is the key factor in gaining an understanding of bipolar disorder—the symptoms, early signs of an oncoming episode and available treatments.
What if you have tried Talk therapy and found it not helpful? What are you to do then? If you have tried the traditional psychotherapy or talk therapy and do not feel it has been effective talk to your therapist. He or she can refer you to a psychiatrist who after reading your chart can give you a prescription. Prescription medication is usually the last resort, as it should be for many people.
However, at times it is necessary. For instance, when weekly talk therapy results are short lived, or when mood swings are so chaotic controlling them is not possible. Additionally, if you are feeling suicidal or are fearful you may hurt someone or if you are having auditory or visual hallucinations. It is Ok if you need medicinal intervention. It does not mean you failed traditional therapeutic intervention. Not ever treatment works for everyone that is why there are alternate treatments available.
Some things you can do on your own to help you cope with your illness are; establish routines. Get up at the same time each day, create a schedule, and stick to it without exception. Identify symptoms; keep notes of your feelings, what happens day to day and night to night. Keeping notes will help identify subtly changes in your moods. Once you can identify these situations you will be better equipped at handling them successfully.
Your psychiatrist and team of Treatment professionals can help you with this one. Third, learn to adapt. Understand the types of stressors that can initiate episodes and the lifestyle adjustments that can decrease them. Adequate sleep is another thing you can do to help cope with your bipolar. Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day helps maintain the brains chemical balance. Mood swings are primarily brought on by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Refrain from alcohol or illegal and non-prescribed drugs. These substances can trigger mood episodes. Substance abuse is often a problem for many people with bipolar disorder.
Your treatment team can help you with any of these concerns. With either psychotherapy, medicinal therapy or possibly both you will soon be well aware of the symptoms, the triggers as well as the devastating effects bipolar has on you, your family and friends and your life. You will be better equipped at dealing with each of these effectively. Soon you will again enjoy spending time with your family and friends. You will soon look forward to welcoming each new day!