Self-soothing with the five senses

Five_sensesDialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral  therapy used for the treatment of various illnesses and behavioral challenges from depression, to anxiety, anger/irritability, to bipolar disorder symptoms, personality disorders, and more. This therapy features various coping techniques to deal with these challenges falling under modules such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness (click DBT therapy for more information). In this post I’d like to focus on the distress tolerance skill “Self-soothing with the five senses”, and how I’ve used it in the past. Continue reading

Seemingly small trigger, but big panic

panic scream

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

Not everything is a symptom (speaking to myself and others)

via Daily Prompt: Symptom

magnifying-glass-1607160__340

This is about misjudging symptoms of many sorts.

I think it is common with some illnesses to often think everything you feel is a symptom of the illness. I can see that with people who have heart disease, perhaps thinking that innocent heart burn is a symptom of their heart disease. In the case of bipolar disorder, many people with bipolar disorder having a burst of energy or even an especially good day wonder “Am I getting manic?” Perhaps sometimes it is an early warning sign, but other times it’s just within the normal range of experience. Continue reading

It’s OK to minimize your work or other responsibility load

via Daily Prompt: Minimal

Work load

Are you stressed out on the job? Stressed out with family or relationship issues? Stressed out because of illness? Maybe you’re stressed because of one of many other things in life. I’ve been stressed out because of all of the above at certain times in my life and yet didn’t cut myself any slack. Only after all hell broke loose and I had my mental breakdown, I knew I had to give myself a break. It was time to be happy just doing the minimal. Shame on me I needed a health crisis to learn this. Continue reading

Depersonalization and derealization – Grounding techniques I’ve found effective

Stay connected to yourself in the present…

out-of-body-experience

For all of you lucky enough not to be in the know, both depersonalization and derealization are states falling under the category of dissociation, which the Mayo Clinic defines as “a disconnection and lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and/or identity.” Continue reading