How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help Bipolar Disorder

Therapist Palatine, IL

Suffering from bipolar disorder can lead you to feel hopeless at times. Anyone familiar with this disorder knows that they cannot predict when mood swings will happen, and when they do happen it can ruin an event, a relationship, or even a favorite activity. While this disorder is debilitating, you do not have to give in and let it control your life. In many situations, patients have found medication to be effective at treating the symptoms of their bipolar disorder. However, there are other options people can use to treat the onset of these symptoms and the thought process behind them. When working with a therapist who uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a patient can effectively begin to control their bipolar disorder without the need for heavy doses of medication.

Why Would CBT Work For Bipolar Disorder?

One of the most famous characteristics of bipolar disorder is the mood swings that the person feels. It is not merely a change in feeling happy or sad but can cause severe anger, depression, and mania. Psychologists believe that these feelings stem from the person’s negative thoughts, and when they have recurring negative thoughts, they lose the ability to cope with their mood swings effectively. The negative thoughts can lead to depression or anger, and the overly positive thoughts can lead to mania.

When the therapist employs CBT techniques, the patient can begin leveling out the extreme emotions they begin feeling. When you are in situations that trigger these extreme reactions, the CBT can teach you certain techniques to realize these extreme thoughts and change them before establishing certain behavioral patterns.

CBT Techniques To Help You Cope

  1. Record Your Moods. When you begin monitoring your moods and tracking your thought processes, you can see certain situations that trigger extreme moods.
  2. Begin Cognitive Changes. When you begin identifying problematic thoughts, your therapist can show you techniques to correct how you perceive them. An example of a problematic thought process is all-or-none thinking.
  3. Imagine Problems Before They Happen. Think about situations you might find yourself in that can cause problematic thoughts. Even if they are not currently happening, you can plan ahead for constructive ways to deal with these situations. For example, if you feel negative emotions when your boss emails because you think he will fire you, depression may soon follow. This is likely a common problematic thought. Begin imagining all of the different reasons your boss might be emailing you and implement techniques (like breathing techniques) to calm your anxiety.
  4. Set Your Routine. When your emotions can seem to change very swiftly, it can be particularly helpful to have a set routine in your life that allows you to rely on predictability. This could come in the form of having a set sleep schedule or working out at certain times during the day or week.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a great way to treat your bipolar disorder at the root cause instead of only dealing with or masking the symptoms of it. You and your therapist can devise a routine that is unique to you to help your specific situation. For more information on how CBT can help with your bipolar disorder, reach out to a therapist Palatine, IL trusts at Lotus Wellness Center today.