Category: Therapy

How and When It’s Time to Reach Out to a Professional

How and When It’s Time to Reach Out to a Professional

By Allison Clemmons Hatch Recently there has been no shortage of advice regarding techniques for self-care in light of the COVID-19 pandemic with regard to not only our physical, but our mental health care as well.  And thank goodness for that! You have may have...

How To Start Seeing A Therapist

How To Start Seeing A Therapist

By: Cassandra Stout Seeing a therapist can be enormously helpful in sorting out issues you may have in your life. You can also develop coping skills in therapy to deal with serious problems, or just the less-serious issues of everyday life. But how do you start...

Positive Impact of Therapy

Positive Impact of Therapy

By: Sydney Batt When I was younger, I had been to a few sessions of therapy but had never committed to it until three years ago, when I decided to take my mental health seriously. Going to therapy for the first time can be scary or awkward for some, and having to...

Finding Solace In Art Therapy

By: Emily McGuigan “If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” ~ Edward Hopper As an artist with Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), I have primarily used drawing and painting to help me cope with and explain...

Hiding In Plain Sight

By: Aubrey Good I am an intern at the International Bipolar Foundation. I spend a few hours a week at the office finding articles, writers, resources, etc. that I believe are beneficial to educating the public on bipolar disorder and also offer hope and understanding....

My Journey With DBT: Part 3

By: Allison Strong I’m in a year-long Dialectical Behavioral Therapy program.  Many people repeat the course. More than once! They say in their first year they felt more like passengers than patients because there’s so much material to cover.  I agree. Now that we’re...

My Journey With DBT: Part 2

By: Allison Strong When I first did intake for group dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), I sorta ‘flunked.’ Temporarily. It was determined that I’d been traumatized and I was transferred to their Trauma Resolution and Integration Program (T.R.I.P.) for individual...

A Step Back From The Edge

By: Nic Fleming It has been almost 8 months since my last blog. It is hard to believe how much time has passed. I literally could not write- or read for that matter. So yes, I have been exceptionally unwell but I would like to share some aspects of my experience over...

Combating Stigma With Compassion In South Africa

Combating Stigma With Compassion In South Africa

By Mamotladi Ivy Matloga My name is Ivy Matloga and I am a public servant and an author. My brother lives and copes with a mental illness. I just released a novel, a work of fiction, inspired by my brother’s illness and the observations I have made, as well as...

Redefining Success

Redefining Success

By: Megan Malfi Check out Redefining Success Part 2, here! For more vlogs from Megan Malfi, check out the playlist here.

How DBT Helps Me Deal With Bipolar Disorder

How DBT Helps Me Deal With Bipolar Disorder

By: Allison Strong A year ago, I wrote about Zen, Mindfulness and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). DBT is an update on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy—both written by Marsha M Linehan, Ph D. Originally, DBT was strictly for the treatment of borderline personality...

Who Can Get Through To You?

Who Can Get Through To You?

By Jen Teh In a recent conversation with a good friend, we talked about a mutual friend who appeared to be showing signs of bipolar disorder but who was quite closed to the possibility of a problem. The conversation meandered to what it was like when I was first...

Love, Marriage, And Bipolar Q&A Series: Part 2 Of 4

Love, Marriage, And Bipolar Q&A Series: Part 2 Of 4

Q: How do you support your partner when, in the midst of a hypomanic episode, they tell you that they want to end the relationship and move out on their own? How can you tell if that’s what they’re truly feeling, or if it’s a result of their episode? Beka: From a...

Tardive Dyskinesia: A Decade Later

Tardive Dyskinesia: A Decade Later

By: Allison Strong This is an update on an IBPF blog that I wrote a few years ago, “Move Over, Movement Disorder,” about my Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) and all the hoops I had to jump through to attain symptom control. I also did two TD videos you can view on our YouTube...

Running is Part of My Therapy

Running is Part of My Therapy

When I get depressed, I suffer from severe pain deep in my muscles and not many things help it. During a particularly rough few months, two different massage therapists asked me if I had considered trying running as an outlet. They each told me that my muscles felt...

My Beacon of Light: Electroconvulsive Therapy

My Beacon of Light: Electroconvulsive Therapy

Two years ago there was one thing above all in the mental health world that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and it was electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Not the thought of the procedure itself, but the side effects. As a nursing student, I did a...

Family: My Circle of Support

Family: My Circle of Support

A good support system can mean the difference between living a possibly comfortable life and suffering alone without help. We who suffer know that support is important, but so many people just don’t have access to acceptable support or even a partial support...

Warning Signs

Warning Signs

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...

Couples Counseling: What’s It All About and Should You Go?

Couples Counseling: What’s It All About and Should You Go?

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...

What If He Won’t Commit to Regular Counseling

What If He Won’t Commit to Regular Counseling

“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...

DBT and Me

DBT and Me

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...

Putting Your Thoughts on Trial: How to Use CBT Thought Records

Putting Your Thoughts on Trial: How to Use CBT Thought Records

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....

Taming My Mental Illness

Taming My Mental Illness

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...

Walking the Bipolar Tightrope Without My Pole

Walking the Bipolar Tightrope Without My Pole

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...

Group Therapy Provides Hope

Group Therapy Provides Hope

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...

Why I’m Grateful For Being On the Psych Ward

Why I’m Grateful For Being On the Psych Ward

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...

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

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,...

Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis

“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...

Psychiatry in Jordan

Psychiatry in Jordan

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...

Hopping Off the Merry-Go-Round

Hopping Off the Merry-Go-Round

Since I was diagnosed bipolar I’ve found myself in a constant cycle. I remain compliant with medications and avoid substances and I enjoy euphoria and life for that matter. However, the second I deviate from my prospective recovery regimen everything goes awry and I’m...

Getting Help

Getting Help

Getting help for my bipolar disorder was one of the hardest and best things I’ve done. I’m a pretty proud and independent person so opening up and making myself vulnerable was extremely daunting. I was in my third and final year of university when I knew...

Therapy and Becoming Who I’m Meant to Be

Therapy and Becoming Who I’m Meant to Be

Talk therapy is a big part of my treatment plan.  I can’t go without it.  I know medication is a necessity for me, but I need my therapist.  I need cognitive behavioral techniques, and I need coping skills.  It’s a struggle for me to simply...

How to Deal with the Loss of Your Therapist

How to Deal with the Loss of Your Therapist

The concept of a therapist seemed rather peculiar to me. For one, of course this total stranger was going to listen to all of your banter for the lump sum of $100/hour; I think most of us would to the same. And for second, why would you want to banter about the...

Removing Obstacles: An Overview

Last month I gave a webinar for International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) entitled Removing Obstacles: A Naturopathic Perspective on Treatment. In that webinar I discussed the philosophy and therapeutic order of naturopathic medicine and gave some examples related...

Therapy: How to get the most out of it

Is this your first appointment with a new therapist? If this is the case, it will take a while for you to get to know the therapist and their style, as well as for them to get to know you. Therapy is useless if there’s not positive energy both ways.  Evaluate...

Freaked to Meet with my PDOC

I never knew what “pdoc” meant until I was diagnosed with bipolar one disorder, and learned that it’s a shorthand term used for psychiatrists by those in the bipolar community.My pdoc is wonderful.  Out of the myriad of doctors I’ve seen...

New Psychiatrist

I saw a new psychiatrist recently. He is wonderful. Also, I’ve been officially diagnosed as bipolar II. I suspected as much, but never had specific confirmation. I’ve been feeling much better on my new medication, so I have hope. There are still a few side effects,...

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