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

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

If only I could go to a Czech spa right now!

Mariánské Lázně1
Mariánské Lázně in Czech Republic

In my husband’s home country of Czech Republic, if you are a bit under the weather or recuperating from a major illness, your doctor may prescribe a two to three week in-patient treatment at a spa (or lázně in Czech), which is covered by health insurance. There, patients are evaluated by a doctor specializing in balneotherapy (treating disease by baths) or physical therapy, who assembles an individual plan of procedures and treatments. Those range from drinking (the mineral waters!), bathing (not only in the mineral waters, but also in waters infused with herbs, fruit, salts, hops, malt extract, and others), wraps, massages, exercise, special diet, etc.  Continue reading

Woman wanting to strengthen relationships with other women

female friends2I am a woman in her 40s, happily married to a wonderful man for almost 20 years, but beyond that fact I also need to connect more fully with others, especially women.  It’s been quite a long time since I had a close relationship with a woman outside of my immediate family. It’s a fact I want to further examine, and a goal I want to pursue. Continue reading

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

psychiatrist

***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.

Continue reading