Bipolar Disorders

Counseling for people with Bipolar Disorder in Medina, Ohio

Everyone goes through shifts in mood on a day to day basis. People diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, a brain disorder, have intense and sometimes dramatic shifts in mood, energy and activity levels, behaviors and sleep patterns. A manic episode is usually described as an intensely happy and overexcited state. An extremely sad and hopeless state is usually described as a depressive episode. These mood shifts can last for a day or part of it or for as long as a week or two. Bipolar Disorder does not mean the person shifts from minute to minute contrary to popular belief.

Early stages of Bipolar Disorder can be difficult to spot, because signs and symptoms sometimes appear to be separate issues. Many people deal with these symptoms for years before getting diagnosed and treated. Bipolar Disorder is usually a life long illness, which tends to get worse if not treated. Untreated, it can lead to problems in a person’s personal and work relationships. Proper long-term treatment can help people with Bipolar Disorder get control over their symptoms and minimize their mood swings.

Symptoms of Early Onset Bipolar Disorder:

 

  • Temper tantrums

  • Irritability

  • Opposition

  • Mood swings

  • Hyperactivity

  • Easily Distracted

  • Impulsive

  • Racing thoughts

  • Aggressive behavior

  • Grandiose thinking

  • Depressed mood

  • Lethargy

  • Low self esteem

  • Difficulty getting out of bed

  • Social anxiety

 

Less Common Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder:

 

  • Bed wetting

  • Obsessive and compulsive traits

  • Poor memory

  • Motor and vocal tics

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Lying

  • Psychosis

  • Self-mutilation

  • Destructiveness

  • Binge eating

  • Morbid thoughts

  • Migraine headaches

 

 

Mindfulness and Bipolar Disorder

 

Mindfulness teaches you how to change the way you think and feel about life experiences by focusing your attention on the present moment. This awareness of your thoughts and feelings helps you to feel less overwhelmed and more in control.  While consistent therapy and medication helps individuals with Bipolar disorder significantly, tools and skills that promote self-awareness can also be beneficial.

Tools to Aid Treatment:

Meditation

 

Meditation a deep state of focus which can foster relaxation, wellness, and a clear mind. It is selectively attending to something while reducing peripheral attendance to everything else.  It allows you to ‘let go’ of stressors in your environment and be present in the current moment.  When dealing with high anxiety or dramatic changes in mood, it can be difficult to think clearly; meditation can help with that.  It can take time and practice to successfully get to a meditative state, but if you try a few times, you will get better.

How to Meditate:

 

Sit somewhere comfortable and quiet, away from distractions like television or conversation.  If sitting, have your back straight, or lay flat on your back.  Place your hands on your legs or your stomach or sides; whatever feels most comfortable.

Unwind and close your eyes. Be still. Focus your attention on your breathing, yourself (what your body is feeling), and your surroundings (the ground underneath you, the air blowing around you).

Try to clear your mind. Your thoughts will wander at first. When your thoughts get away from you, just try to remove these thoughts and bring yourself back to a meditative state of mind.

Breathing Exercises

 

Breathing slow, deep, abdominal breaths can reduce tension in the body and prevent hyperventilation. Place your hand on your abdomen below your rib cage. As you inhale, breathe in deeply through your nose, pushing your breaths down deep (your hand should rise, while your chest should move only slightly). Breathe in as deeply as you can, and once you have fully inhaled, pause for a moment; then exhale slowly through your nose or mouth. This is one of many breathing exercises used to facilitate relaxation.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

 

Progressive muscle relaxation is a systematic technique for achieving a deep state of relaxation. First tensing and then releasing muscle groups throughout the body facilitates this state of relaxation. When tensing, hold for 7-10 seconds, focusing on the sensation of tension. Release abruptly, enjoying the relaxed feeling for 15-20 seconds before moving on.

Guided Imagery

 

Once sufficiently relaxed; visualization of a peaceful, meditative scene or situation is a powerful technique to further reduce anxiety and stress. It also can facilitate a more positive outlook and lead to better coping strategies when stress and anxiety are experienced again. A trained therapist can assist in creating guided visualizations which facilitate wellness.

Yoga

 

Yoga is another great way to focus your awareness on the present moment and relax.  It consists of  different body poses and controlled breathing. You may not people able to perform all the poses exactly as a beginner, but moving as is right for your body is most important. As you practice, the poses will get easier and you will find yourself more relaxed and at peace.

 

 

Bipolar Disorder Clinicians