Types of Psychotherapy for Bipolar Disorder

psychotherapyPsychotherapy, when added to medications, has been shown to be very beneficial for people with bipolar disorder, and many other types of disorders, too. Medications alone do not always completely address all of the illness-related issues such as anxiety, persistent sub-threshold depression, illness adjustment, adherence to medications, and social and occupational functioning. There are many options in psychotherapy that are helpful for people with bipolar disorder. Multiple approaches using different strategies and tools have been developed.

It is suggested that patients with any type of psychological disorder discuss the best type(s) of therapy for their case with their psychiatrist or other mental healthcare provider. Continue reading

Peaceful and effective collaboration in writing

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I have always considered myself to be an idea person. Having ideas certainly helps in my ability to write, not just in coming up with new themes, but in variety of writing styles. Generally in my most personal pieces, I tend to go through the process completely alone. The full written piece is just mine. But there are other pieces I write that with collaboration from others (mostly only my husband), become even more effective, and I feel more appealing to a greater audience. Continue reading

New Jersey and You, Perfect Together

Huge thanks to Mohamad Al Karbi for the invite to guest write in his wonderful blog’s “Around the World” section. I’ve enjoyed Mohamad’s blog since the beginning of my time on WordPress, and have much appreciated his support of mine. He asked me to write the post below about where I come from, and I […]

via New Jersey and You, Perfect Together — Mohamad Al Karbi

There’s lots to learn about New Jersey.

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When I was “In the pink”

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Feeling great physically and emotionally

I have to confess that it’s been years since I exercised regularly. I am even disappointed in myself because I don’t eat as well as I used to. This was not always the case. I’ve had periods in my life when I exercised all of the time and maintained what my husband refers to as my “Every meal two veggie and/or fruit policy.” I was like an army sergeant about that. Luckily hubby likes veggies and fruits. Continue reading

My 1st through 10th painful psychiatric incarcerations (Part 1 of 4)

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***Some content in this post may be very triggering***
Before I start this post series, please note that I do not remember all of my 10 psychiatric hospitalizations. Many are mostly lost from my memory, so I will use hospital records to assist me in writing about them. This first installment is actually a part of this story series that I do remember in some detail. My bipolar disorder was not at its very worst at this point. My episodes worsened over the four years that followed. In this post I was 33 & 34 years old.
This series is being written in preparation for a chapter in my working memoir.

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A true traveler vs. a temporary tourist

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“Be a true traveler, don’t be a temporary tourist.” – Amit Kalantri

journey photoI believe a true traveler embarks on journeys that leave a lasting impression on their heart and mind.  The voyage doesn’t have to be to another country or faraway land. It can be an exploration near home and the distance traveled not geographical, but one that is philosophical or experiential.  A true journey doesn’t just yield miscellaneous facts, fleeting images, and banal stories. It always bears some kind of change, hopefully one of understanding and betterment. Continue reading

Eat Bitter (吃苦)- How well can you do it?

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In Mandarin Chinese, there is a maxim “Eat bitter” or “Eating bitterness”. The pin yin romanization is Chī Kǔ. Basically this phrase refers to enduring hardship, or enduring something that is less than pleasant or desirable in either good humor or acceptance. People who “eat bitter” will continue on with life despite difficulties. They should stay focused on challenges, and persist. To Chinese, being able to effectively “eat bitter” is a type of virtue, and mostly expected. Continue reading

Stress habits or self-medication

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Anxiety, frustration or anger, excess energy, depression (or low mood), and several other things just plain drive many of us to it. What? Stress habits and self-medication.

Peter picks the tips of his fingers until they bleed. Joan drinks a bit too much alcohol to unwind. I clench and grind my teeth. Jack binge eats on occasion. Continue reading

“Simplify, simplify,” said Henry David Thoreau

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I’d be happy living in a little cottage by a pond or lake.

My husband and I definitely do not live a grandiose lifestyle. Even during times when we had more than sufficient resources, we didn’t strive for a lifestyle that exceeded our means. But over the years I find myself yearning for a more and more simple way of living. I guess as I get older (I’m in my mid 40s) I want an easier, more carefree low hassle life. That’s not always the case for aging people, though. I see people my age and even much older spending money on even more elaborate things, taking more expensive vacations, buying bigger “toys”. I think ideally my husband would do the same, if he could, but I resist to a degree, so there is a balance. Having a mental illness, I know I can’t handle too much stress. Complicated lifestyles breed stress. Continue reading

Seemingly small trigger, but big panic

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I have had issues with anxiety and panic attacks at various times of my life. It either comes with my bipolar disorder at times, or is a separate mental health issue. My panic attacks can be brought on by what may seem like nothing, or at least seemingly small triggers. And panic attacks can easily breed more frequent attacks. Scientists believe this may be part of the “kindling effect”. The kindling effect (originally applied to epilepsy, but now also applied to bipolar disorder, addictions, and even other mental health issues) is where with each episode of the illness, later episodes become more likely and more severe.  It can sometimes be difficult to finally break the cycle of kindling. Continue reading