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Warning Signs

April 6, 2016
It’s so important with a mental illness to be vigilant of errant emotions because it could be a warning sign of the start of an episode. This has happened only a few times since I’ve been stable on medication.  The first time was during the summer a couple of years ago. I’m a teacher so I have the summers off. That year I didn’t get a summer...
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Valentine’s Day is all about the romantic, idealistic side of love. While it can be fun and meaningful to celebrate your relationship with your spouse or partner (if you have one), the reality is that relationships can be hard. The Hollywood, happily-ever-after ideal image of relationships makes for enjoyable movies, but it’s not realistic—in the...
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“You’re right, I’m a terrible mother, I’m a horrible wife, I just can’t do anything right!” I confessed as I faced my husband following his recital of my shortcomings after coming home to a messy house and 2 unkept daughters. That night I decided that my husband and daughters would be better off without me.  I left my home and began...
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DBT and Me

September 15, 2015
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was originally designed to treat individuals diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder (which I was), but has skills and tools for everyone. DBT has been, notably, successful in individuals with Bipolar Disorder and PTSD as well. I have /have had all three diagnoses, so I started trying to find DBT...
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Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is an effective approach for a variety of issues, including bipolar disorder. It’s based on the ancient philosophical idea that suffering isn’t the result of what happens to us, but the result of how we interpret what happens to us. According to CBT, it’s largely our thoughts that lead to moods like depression and...
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Taming My Mental Illness

June 22, 2015
Quite a while ago I was told that during spring and summer I would most likely be controlling underlying mania and during winter I would be fighting depression. This is because medication doesn’t work very well for me, my moods are very seasonal and I have the type of bipolar that would make me constantly unwell if I didn’t control it. This is...
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A few months ago my mood tipped the scales into hypomania, dangerously verging on mania. This is an issue for me because once hypomanic I very quickly become chaotically manic. Fortunately I wasn’t bad enough to lose all insight and didn’t stop taking my medication which most definitely would have ended in psychosis and hospitalisation. It...
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Group Therapy Provides Hope

February 12, 2015
I recently joined a bipolar support group. My doctor and therapist have been encouraging me for months to join the group. They believed it would help me "normalize" some of my feelings by being around others who might have the same experiences. I put off going to the group because 1) I was either too sick (manic or depressed) to feel like...
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In the beginning I thought that it would kill me, my personality, and my future. But after a few weeks I’m hugely grateful for this experience. I got there because I wanted to attempt suicide. I’ve had a few suicide attempts before but this one was extremely dangerous and real. And so sudden and unexpected. So when my feet touched the ground...
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Who Am I?

January 14, 2015
I sat in a chair at a psychiatrist’s office and am asked questions that provoke me to describe both my depressive and hypomanic states. It was painful yet enlightening. When I am depressed I am stupid, lazy and useless. When I am depressed I am weak, unlovable and a waste of skin.When I am depressed I am paranoid, reactive and...
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Dual Diagnosis

December 9, 2014
“Population-based studies have documented that among all patients with major psychiatric disorders, those with bipolar disorder have the highest prevalence of comorbid substance abuse and dependence” (Tohen, et. al 1998, Pg. 133).My substance abuse came long before my diagnosis of Bipolar I.  As children living in fear of their Father, my...
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Psychiatry in Jordan

December 9, 2014
Teamwork in Psychiatry: King Abdullah University Hospital as a ModelI would like to make it crystal clear that this story aims not as the title may suggest, to draw up a panoramic view of the mental health system in Jordan. Nor does it claim a science-based approach while referring to mental illnesses or any medications usually administered to...
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