After living with bipolar for 8 years, I have noticed some thought patterns that I tend to have around when it comes to thinking about my emotions. Questioning one’s emotions is a useful tool in learning to manage them. As my psychologist and I have discussed, emotions do stem from thoughts – which may or may not be true. Sometimes, admittedly, I get lazy and I just go “Oh I’m very angry because I have bipolar – which is characterised by mood swings and intense emotions, right?”
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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 anxiety – thoughts about how things must be, how we should behave, how other people ought to treat us – and by changing our thoughts, we can change how we feel.