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3362 Big Pine Trail, Suite A, Champaign, Illinois 61822

Understandably, living with bipolar disorder is not an easy task. But one must remember that when a person has bipolar disorder, they are not alone in it. Besides following the guidelines set by doctors and bipolar disorder therapists, one can also understand their symptoms and take steps to prevent or reduce them. There are specific steps necessary in other diseases, as a person with diabetes has to take insulin or a smoker has to take nicotine tablets. Taking some steps to become healthy and keeping things in check will help any patient control their mood, anger, and sudden outbursts.

Regular treatments are a must, indeed, but other everyday small steps can be undertaken by bipolar disease patients to take control of their life. The following few guidelines can help such patients take control of their life.

Familiarize with the disease.

Once diagnosed with bipolar disease, try to get yourself acquainted as much as possible with the condition. Learn and read about it in-depth. Read up on all the symptoms and the ways to recognize them on their onset. Also, learn about the different treatment options which are available for various symptoms. Also, if they are symptoms that can be controlled and know how they can be held. Once you have read information and gain some knowledge about your own disease, ask questions from your doctor and collaborate with them to gather more knowledge. Don't be shy of telling them what is on your mind and let them know what you are comfortable or uncomfortable with.

Keep track of your own moods and symptoms.

To remain healthy with bipolar disease and live everyday life, the patient needs to closely monitor themselves and understand themselves the most. These are usually known as triggers, which set off a reaction. These can be episodes of depression or anger or anxiety which can lead to such after-effects. One can often dismiss these as mood swings, but there can be underlying reasons to consider their symptoms or triggers. Always talk to your doctor once you have recognized something and work with them to understand and analyze a situation more. You should also keep an eye out for your sleeping patterns, energy levels, and different thoughts processed by you at other times of the day and their impact on your physical and mental health. If you understand these small triggers or symptoms, then it will become very easy to manage yourself.

Some triggers can include stress, financial difficulties, lack of sleep, changes in season, changes in the environment, different sleeping patterns, etc. Also, some typical onset of symptoms can be frequent headaches, lack of sleep, too much or too few conversations with others, people around you feel irritating, you have stopped things you would regularly do like going for a jog, cooking your own meals, watching your favorite show, etc. As soon as these symptoms or onset present themselves, you must have a backup plan. This can be talking to a person who understands you and your disorder, long 8 hours of good sleep, go see your doctor, talk to your Champaign therapist, go outside more, exercise, do something fun, play games, listen to music, etc.

Create a backup plan

Even if you are trying your best and doing all things right, everything cannot go right in life. So always have an emergency backup plan if required to fall back to. This plan should consist of the list of contact numbers of doctors who are working with or whom you can contact, the medications required, the symptoms for usual triggers that can be causing this, and their relative solution.

Join an outreach program

Bipolar disorder can seem very lonely, primarily due to social taboo, but you don't necessarily need to isolate yourself. There are always family members, friends, colleagues who are ready and happy to help. Even chatting up with them can perk up your mood. Try joining a bipolar disorder support group where you will find many like-minded people. People who understand you and sympathize with you since they face the same things. You can learn from them, understand what works or doesn't, know about doctors, etc. You may even find new friends, which is never a bad thing!

Have an active lifestyle

Bipolar disorder is characterized by untimely mood swings and uncontrollable behavior. That is also precisely why you should try to bring discipline into your life and build a structure around it. Create a timetable for doing things, everyday tasks, making it less likely to have possible triggers. Also, start exercising since it is the best natural medicine. Exercise uplifts mood and is suitable for health. So making exercising a habit can always help an individual control themselves better.

Conclusion

It may seem complicated, and you may feel lonely, but you are not the only one. There are others out there too who are facing the same thing, so you should not feel low about it. Just like any other disease if you follow some guidelines along with those set by doctors you can also adjust to life and start living normally. If you ever feel like you need to talk to someone contact your local therapists in Champaign.

 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is considered one of the most effective treatment options for borderline personality disorder (BPD) and other mental health disorders. As an evidence-based treatment, DBT combines cognitive and behavioral therapists to help people regulate emotions, transform negative thinking patterns, and change unhealthy behaviors.

 

How did DBT develop?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was created by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., and colleagues in the late 1980s when they discovered that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) alone did not work as well as expected in patients with BPD. Dr. Linehan, her team, and others have developed a treatment that meets the unique needs of these individuals.

 

DBT strategies

DBT teaches you four strategies that can help you change your behavior.

  1. Mindfulness. Mindfulness skills help you center yourself in the present moment, whether you are meditating or simply sitting and breathing. It's an essential part of DBT, as it can help you be more aware of and in charge of emotional situations to move through them effectively. 

  2. Distress tolerance. The concept of Distress Tolerance is the ability to accept and endure both emotional and physical distress (e.g., life's inevitable stressful events) without becoming overwhelmed with anxiety or discomfort. By learning how to handle being in a state of emotional distress, people can better control their own lives and not live out their problems through negative behaviors.

  3. Interpersonal effectiveness. In DBT, interpersonal effectiveness is the skill to be able to manage relationships productively. This includes the ability to communicate effectively and identify strategies that will help you maintain desired relationship outcomes, as well as the ability to set boundaries. 

  4. Emotion regulation. Emotion regulation is a set of skills you can learn to help you manage your emotions more effectively. The skills include identifying, naming, and changing emotions, as well as deepening and broadening them.

 

Aside from individual therapy sessions, DBT is often offered in group settings.  With guidance from experienced professionals, the group can offer an outlet for compassion, self-development, and learning strategies to cope with life stressors.

 

Is DBT right for you?

Although most DBT research has focused on its effectiveness for people with borderline personality disorder,  it may also be effective in treating: 

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders (such as anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Major depressive disorder (including treatment-resistant major depression and chronic depression)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance use disorder

 

The bottom line

 

Overall, DBT helps clients find healthy ways to cope with problems while building skills that enable them to get the most out of life. If you or a loved one might benefit from DBT, it's essential to talk with a healthcare provider or mental health professional trained in the approach

School can be a source of support, belonging, learning, and community for kids. But for some, going to school can become challenging or distressing more than anything. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), school anxiety affects around 2% to 5% of school-age children.

 

If your child struggles with school anxiety, consider the following seven tips to see how you can best support them:

 

  1. Have a discussion. Use their concerns as an opportunity to have an open discussion about what's causing them to feel anxious. Provide a supportive, safe place for your child to talk about school and what they're struggling with. While talking with them frequently, you have a chance to resolve issues before they escalate. 

  2. Practice relaxation techniques: Talk to your child about strategies that help them feel calm. Deep breathing, guided imagery, and mindfulness are essential relaxation strategies that kids can practice at home and utilize in school. On the other hand, relaxation strategies could include things they can do after school-like spending time with particular friends, listening to music, playing outside, or watching their favorite movie.

  3. Promote a consistent routine and structure: Anxious children benefit from predictable home routines. Avoid over-scheduling, as this can increase stress for anxious kids, and put specific morning and evening routines in place.

  4. Role-play different scenarios. Once you’re aware of which situations at school cause your child to feel overwhelmed or anxious, rehearse potential responses and actions they could take. Over time, they’ll feel less anxious and more prepared to handle these situations as they arise. If your child is nervous about meeting new classmates, for example, you can ask your child questions and give them examples of how they can say hello and introduce themselves.

  5. Stay mindful of your emotions. As a parent, it's hard to see your child having a hard time. You want to help, alleviate their stress, and reassure them. And although you can't control their emotions or every stress-provoking scenario they come across, you have a significant influence on how they respond to them. Kids look to your moods and reactions for clues on how they should handle stress.

  6. Encourage good sleep hygiene: Sleep deprivation exacerbates symptoms of anxiety and stress. Develop good sleep habits, such as sleeping in a quiet, dark room and keep a regular bedtime schedule, including weekends.

  7. Talk to the school guidance counselor. Meeting with the school counselor not only helps your child but can reassure you as well. They may present different options to you, like checking up on your child throughout the day or share other suggestions and strategies. 

 

Takeaway

Each child experiencing anxiety does so in their unique way. Learning about your child's specific experience can help you to be effective advocates and thoughtful parents. While school can sometimes be a challenge for kids, they can overcome the difficulties with the proper support.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is considered to be the gold standard of psychotherapy for a number of reasons. As one of the best treatment options available for various mental health conditions, CBT aims to help you recognize and modify harmful thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Although this technique has been around for some time now, it continues to be a viable and effective option for many who suffer from depression or anxiety.

 

The cycle of thoughts and behaviors

Here’s a closer look at how thoughts and emotions can influence behavior:

 

  • Negative or unhelpful thoughts cause emotional distress.
  • The distress you experience as a result of these unhelpful thoughts ultimately leads to unhelpful or harmful behavior.
  • Over time, these thoughts and behaviors become a pattern.

CBT addresses these specific patterns to help you deal with stressors and problematic situations as they arise so you can better manage them now and in the future.

 

CBT strategies

So, how does one go about reworking these patterns? CBT involves the use of many techniques. Your therapist will work with you to find those that work best for you.

Overall, the goal of these techniques is to replace unhelpful or self-defeating thoughts with more encouraging and realistic ones. Here are some of the most popular strategies used in CBT:

Goal setting. Setting goals is one of the first and most essential steps in CBT. Your therapist will work with you to identify your goal, distinguish between short and long-term goals, set SMART goals, and guide you throughout the process to get to the desired outcome.

Journaling. You may be asked to keep track of any negative thoughts or beliefs that occur between sessions, as well as how you handled them. This is also a great way to practice new skills and address any difficulties you come across. 

Cognitive restructuring. This involves analyzing and modifying any cognitive distortions (also known as thinking errors) that are affecting you— such as black-and-white thinking, jumping to conclusions, or catastrophizing. 

Thought recording. In this technique, you’ll come up with unbiased evidence supporting your negative belief and evidence against it. Then, you’ll use this evidence to develop a more realistic thought.

Practice new skills. Homework is one of the most important aspects of cognitive-behavioral therapy because it helps you practice the skills you've learned in session. You may start practicing new coping skills, relaxation techniques, or rehearing new thinking patterns when you're in a stressful situation or faced with a trigger.

Situation exposure. In most cases, CBT is a gradual process that guides you in taking the steps needed for behavior change. For example, if you're afraid of public speaking, you might first practice getting up and talking in front of only one or two people. As time goes on, you might work your way up giving speeches in front of larger crowds.

 

What can CBT help with?

CBT can be effective as a short-term treatment that teaches people how to modify their thoughts and beliefs. CBT is used in treating a variety of conditions, including

  • Addictions
  • Anger issues
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Personality disorders
  • Phobias
  • Stress management

Takeaway

Cognitive-behavior therapy can help you view yourself and your issues in a new light, and help you make lasting change. If you feel that you could benefit from CBT, contact a CBT therapist or counselor to see if it’s right for you.

About Insight Therapy

Insight Therapy is a professional mental health private practice located in Champaign - Urbana. Insight Therapy offers individual therapy, couples counseling, family counseling, and professional mediation services to clients of all ages and issues.

Contact Information

Insight Therapy, LLC
3362 Big Pine Trail
Suite A
Champaign, Illinois 61822

Phone: (217) 383-0151
Fax: (217) 633-4555

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Practice Areas

Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Addiction, Couples Counseling, Eating Disorders, Sexual Abuse Survivor, School Anxiety, Women's Issues, Relationship Issues, BiPolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, Family Issues, Couples Counseling, Mediation, and more!