1% of Canadians (15 years old and above) reported symptoms related to bipolar disorder. Further, 1 in 50 adults said bipolar symptoms once in their lifetime. If it still doesn’t concern you. Studies suggest that 1 out of 100 people has bipolar disorder.
However, the problem is not the disorder itself but the implications. Research suggests that individuals who suffer from this disorder struggle with their lives and relationships in their personal and professional space.
Luckily there is a solution. Bipolar therapy can help a person cope with stress arising from external factors, thereby improving their symptoms and relationships simultaneously. However, sometimes you might think, “You didn’t get a chance to discuss topics as anticipated.”
So, here are some tips to ensure that you address all the issues when going for your regular therapy sessions. Let’s begin!
Share All The Information on Your First Visit
The first visit usually revolves around gaining insights about you, your condition, and how this condition is impacting your life. No matter how significant or insignificant information, you must share everything with your therapist.
This will allow your doctor to help you quickly. Ideally, you’ll need to share information like your current bi-polar symptoms, your medical history, medications (if any), and what is your anticipated outcome from therapy sessions.
Note: You must abstain from any alcohol or recreational drugs when taking therapy sessions.
Starting Journaling to Track Progress
If you start maintaining a journal, it will help you record all your moods and activities. Thus, whenever you go for a therapy session, you won’t have to jog your memory all the time.
You can also write down the issues faced by you. You can even review the journal entries before your sessions or bring the diary and a good therapy session with your doctor.
Don’t Shy Away From Sharing Your Thoughts
Remember, the only reason you are going for a therapy session is to help you solve your everyday problems. But it won’t be favorable if you try to hide your thoughts or emotions. This might even include sharing painful memories or embarrassing moments with your therapist.
Honestly, the doctor isn’t there to judge you. Instead, discussing the issues that might be bothering you will allow you to either change them or learn to accept them. So, don’t hide to reveal your personality that you aren’t proud of.
Be Willing to Answer All The Questions
If you think being open is similar to sharing your emotions, you are wrong. It’s more related to being open to answering all the questions asked by your therapist. This will allow you to reveal things about yourself, thereby helping the therapist to understand the root cause of your issues. Moreover, doing so will help you understand your personality better.
Ask Questions Regarding Your Life Events
Your therapist will ask a series of questions to understand your life events and create a picture of your situation. However, if you wish to build trust, you must communicate as well. In layman’s terms, you must also ask questions that come to your mind to find the answers to the questions that are bothering you.
However, make sure to keep questions limited to your symptoms and how they are impacting your life’s functioning. Try maintaining a professional boundary to drive the best results.
Having said that, if you want to take control of your symptoms besides the therapy session, you need to get involved in the following ways.
Keep a Close Check on Your Symptoms/Moods
Remember, you can’t wait for the obvious symptoms of mania or depression to appeal to progress in your life. You need to keep a close watch on the subtle changes in your mood swings, sleeping patterns, or even energy levels.
Catching the problem early will allow you to act swiftly and prevent a small mood change from transforming into a mania episode. Experts recommend keeping a mood chart to decode your emotional state.
Stabilize Your Mood Changes With a Wellness Toolbox
It won’t matter much, even if you know how to spot warning signs if you don’t have any plan handy to act swiftly. Here’s how a wellness toolbox will help you cope with your symptoms initially.
Although the coping techniques will depend on their situation and symptoms severity with every individual, the following tools are generally helpful in reducing the intensity of the symptoms.
- Get quality sleep.
- Call your therapist/doctor.
- Talk to a person who supports you.
- Write a journal or do something fun/creative.
- Reduce the amount of sugar/alcohol/caffeine.
Create a Crisis Plan
Sometimes despite your best efforts, you experience a relapse. Let your therapist or family member take charge in such a situation since your safety is at stake. However, even if in that situation you want to maintain some responsibility, use the following plan of action.
- Keep a list of emergency contacts readily available.
- List down the symptoms where you want others to take charge of your situation.
- Treatment history and preferences along with the name of the authorized personnel.
When it comes to mental health issues like bipolar, if you have a strong support system, it will increase your chances of leading a happy or healthy life. It doesn’t mean you need a group of individuals who can offer help. All you need is someone who is a good listener and available in times of need to help you manage your mood.
Further, don’t ignore the importance of a therapist. You need to take therapy sessions to solve your everyday issues to streamline your day-to-day life.
Also, before you visit your therapist for another session, make sure to revisit all the things you talked about in your previous sessions. These insights will help you make the desired progress in your life.
Note: If you suspect by any chance you have bipolar disorder, you must seek professional help. Remember, it is a lifelong condition, and if left untreated, it can be pretty devastating for your personal and professional life.