If you've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you may be dealing with mood swings that shift from one extreme to another. During manic phases, you might feel “high”, have trouble sleeping, or be extremely active. During depressive episodes, you might feel hopeless, take unnecessary risks, or think of death and suicide.
Although medications can be helpful, they are not enough by themselves. People with bipolar disorder do best when they receive a combination of medication and talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, to help them learn how to deal with the disorder.
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps
Researchers know that negative thought patterns play a big role in bipolar disorder. You can challenge faulty thinking in these ways:
- 1. Accept and learn about the diagnosis
- It’s easy to go into denial when we get bad news but accepting the diagnosis and learning ways to deal with the condition is necessary for the best possible outcome. The old saying “what you resist, persists” is true.
- 2. Set up a daily routine
- Having a routine for work and socializing will help you establish a rhythm and keep you from getting stuck. The better you feel about yourself and what you achieve, the fewer negative thoughts you will have.
- 3. Evaluate your progress
- Productive days are a good time to reevaluate the way your life is going and look for ways to solve problems and make positive changes.
- 4. Question your thoughts
- The fact that we have a thought doesn’t necessarily make it true or even rational. Stopping a negative thought in its early stages can prevent a downward spiral.
When you are in a depressed state, it may be hard to be objective about your own thoughts. Working with a therapist will give you perspective and teach you how to challenge your impulses. MidValley Healthcare has a team of licensed professionals to work with clients on an individual basis to achieve a happier healthier life.