Are You Having a Hard Time Managing Your Emotions?
Are you experiencing extreme mood swings? Do you find it difficult to balance your emotions? Does your mood and energy level shift dramatically? Are you having a hard time thinking clearly or following through with daily tasks? If you are experiencing any of these, it could be a sign that you might be struggling with a mood disorder, such as bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that is characterized by having prolonged fluctuations between highs and lows, known as manic and depressive episodes. In order to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a person must have experienced at least one manic or hypomanic episode.
During mania, you may have high energy, take extreme risks, sleep deprivation, have delusions of grandeur, or exhibit extreme behavior. Hypomania is similar to mania, but has a shorter duration with less intensity. After a manic episode, you may slide back to your baseline mood or into depression for a period of time typically lasting two or more weeks.
How Does Therapy Help Treat Bipolar Disorder?
Therapy is just one part of a holistic treatment plan. Your support team can include a psychiatrist who will manage your medications, close family or friends who can be the first ones to notice any changes in your mood or behavior, and a therapist or psychologist who can offer unbiased emotional support and teach you coping tools.
Your therapist will give you the tools you need to make healthy decisions, reduce impulsivity, set goals, keep organized, practice self-care and mindfulness, maintain a regular sleep schedule, and more. The goal is to help you manage your emotions and overall well-being.
Do I Have to Go to Therapy if I’m Taking Medication?
If left untreated, symptoms associated with bipolar disorder can worsen over time. We know that the idea of being diagnosed with a chronic mental illness can be frightening or that having to go to therapy regularly can seem daunting. However, with a good long-term treatment plan that includes therapy to help you maintain learned skills, a productive and balanced life will feel within reach. Think of therapy as an ongoing part of your routine and an integral part of your support system.
How Long Will I Have to Be In Therapy?
Everyone’s treatment plan is different, as no two people are the same. However, bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness, and although you don’t necessarily have to go to therapy every single week for the rest of your life, it’s a good idea to have a therapist who is part of your support system and regular routine.
Therapy gives you the space to say things you’ve been afraid to face. It can be scary to be honest with other people and yourself. In therapy, you are allowed and encouraged to express your emotions fully, without fear of being judged. It is a supportive and encouraging relationship that is solely focused on your needs. There is nothing that you can say in therapy that is wrong or that will shock, upset, or anger your therapist.
Unlike your friends and family, you don’t have to protect a therapist when talking to them. You can be completely honest and you will never have to apologize or give an explanation for anything you’ve said or done. Therapists are trained to keep their own emotions and judgment out of the relationship. Therapy is a commitment, but unlike your other relationships, you are in total control, set the goals, and guide the sessions. Therapy is the only relationship that’s all about you and your needs.
Does Your Loved One Have Bipolar Disorder?
Do you have a partner, child, relative, or close friend who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder? If someone in your life has bipolar disorder, you may be somewhat familiar with mania and depression and their symptoms. But if that person hasn’t been diagnosed, you may not understand what’s going on or how to help. Maybe you’ve noticed that someone you love is struggling with managing their emotions, but you don’t know why or what exactly is going on. Therapy can help your loved one figure out what’s going on and create a treatment plan tailored to their specific needs.
How Can I Tell If My Loved One Has Bipolar Disorder?
Depressive episodes tend to be severe and can interfere with daily functioning. Since it can be difficult to differentiate between a depressive episode of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (or clinical depression), it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of mania. The transition into mania can be slow and gradual, and your loved one may not notice when this begins to occur. These symptoms can include:
Grandiosity or euphoric mood that may make others feel overwhelmed
Extreme impulsivity or spontaneity
Lacking judgment in decision-making
Engaging in risky behaviors
Talking rapidly and difficult to understand
Irritability and frustration
Restlessness or fidgety behavior
Unwillingness or inability to sleep
Disorganized or easily distracted
Taking on more tasks than can be managed
Not keeping commitments or sticking to a schedule
Have you noticed your loved one exhibiting any of the behaviors above in addition to long periods of depression? It may be time that they get the help they need. If you notice these signs of mania, you might suggest they see a therapist or other mental health care provider. Offer to go with them if they want additional support.
Can I Get Therapy for Myself If I Don’t Have Bipolar Disorder?
Yes! Your well-being is just as important as that of your loved one. When you care for or support someone who has bipolar disorder or another mental illness, you may feel frustrated, exhausted, or stressed. Therapy can help you learn how to effectively support your loved one, while getting the care you need so you can live a happy and productive life.
Don’t put your life on hold. It’s important that you practice self-care, which not only helps you, but models good behavior and protects your relationship with your loved one. When your own needs are met, you will be able to take better care of your loved one and be the best support possible.
You Can Live a Productive and Fulfilling Life
Get the best well-rounded care with a caring therapist who specializes in treating bipolar disorder. Learn how to set better boundaries with others and yourself, as well as how to be mindful of how your decisions affect others to maintain healthy relationships.
We’ll make sure you have adequate, ongoing, stable support systems so you’re not alone in this process. Call 954-391-5305, ext. 1 today to find out how we can help you manage your emotions and improve your overall wellness.