Living with a mental illness is nearly impossible to explain to someone who doesn’t have one or never had someone in their life who contends with one. But mental illness is real; bipolar disorder, in particular, is exceedingly complex…and exhilarating and exhausting and exciting and excruciating and endless and…well, you completely understand.
Your mood and mental state from one day to the next are unpredictable, and the extremes you navigate are either encumbered with negative thoughts or encouraged with excessively positive ideas.
Bipolar disorder can equate life to pure chaos. Fortunately, bipolar disorder can be controlled and a stable mood can be achieved.
While medication plays a major part in mood management, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can completely redirect your life by helping you adjust to excessive thoughts and behaviors while implementing positive changes. Additionally, it can help you quit using or abusing drugs and alcohol to self-medicate and cope with intense moods and emotions.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a hands-on, goal-oriented psychotherapy that takes a practical approach to cognitive restructuring. CBT helps bipolar individuals alter impractical, dysfunctional thinking and behavior – both positive and negative – while teaching them how to:
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most proven, all-encompassing treatment methods available, as it is effective at helping bipolar individuals level out extremes and stabilize moods.
According to a study published in Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, researchers found that the mood swings experienced with bipolar disorder are influenced by thoughts and behaviors.
A founding belief within cognitive behavioral therapy is that our behaviors, thoughts and emotions are connected and profoundly influence each other.
Through integrative therapy sessions, the patient and therapist both work collaboratively to identify inimical thought patterns, challenge harmful, unhelpful thoughts and correct problematic behavior patterns with advantageous skills and strategies.
It’s important to reiterate that CBT is not only essential, important work for individuals who live with bipolar disorder, but also for individuals who simultaneously contend with a substance use issue, as well.
Because drugs and alcohol fundamentally change the brain’s chemistry, cognitive behavioral therapy helps an individual target areas of vulnerability (triggers), improve how the brain communicates and positively adjust their overall self-perception.
If you have bipolar disorder and have turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with severe mood swings and unwanted thoughts, you can take back control of your life and find a healthy, sustainable balance.
At Covenant Hills, a large component of our co-occurring treatment programs is based in cognitive behavioral therapy and faith-based healing. We will guide you through the therapy process, help you awaken your soul and support you as your mind and body heal. Our goal is to help you return to the person you were made to be.
You are not defined by your bipolar diagnosis. You are you and you have bipolar disorder. You can transform the trajectory of your life.
Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice. Response styles, bipolar risk, and mood in students: The Behaviours Checklist. Accessed May 17, 2018. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/papt.12052.