Meeting the Challenge of Bipolar Disorder:
Self Help Strategies That Work!
by Association for Natural Psychology,
Gabrielle Woods, PhD (Editor),
Laura Pipoly, PC EdD (Foreward)
Gabrielle Woods, PhD (Editor),
Laura Pipoly, PC EdD (Foreward)
Self help for bipolar disorder can result in positive gains. Your moods involving mania and depression can be positively affected through Positive Lifestyle Changes. By developing an array of coping skills, and making gradual, incremental changes in your lifestyle, you will find that mood swings are less dramatic, and mood stability can be attained.
There are a multitude of factors that affect our mental health. Mental health treatment based on the medical model, usually involving psychiatric labeling and the prescribing of strong pharmaceutical drugs, sometimes with a little therapy, is based on a faulty foundation, and is not the panacea that it is proclaimed to be.
Whether or not you subscribe to the views of mainstream psychiatry, if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, or displays the symptoms of bipolar disorder, there is much you can do to overcome its symptoms.
Educate yourself on the many avenues of psychological recovery. Don’t be satisfied with the medical model interpretation of psychiatric disorders. You have everything to gain by giving due attention to self help when addressing symptoms of bipolar disorder. Remission and recovery is within reach for most who suffer with bipolar disorder.
Additionally, prevention in mental health prevention is an important aspect of psychology that is often overlooked. A healthy lifestyle based on practical wisdom for good physical and mental health should be a part of both formal education and self-education.
The model presented in this book is based on actual experiences of bipolar disorder remission.
In addition to a consideration of the subject in the introduction of this book, the following topics are developed. Each section is researched and contains a recommended reading section.
A Foundation for Change, Growth and Progress
One: Identify and Correct Individual Target Symptoms and Triggers
Two: Education and Self-Education Put You in Control
Three: Self Determination as an Aid Towards Personal Responsibility and Recovery
Four: Journaling is a Stabilizing Multi-Dimensional Self-Help Tool
Five: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) as Self Help (and/or CBT with a Therapist)
Six: Seek Balance in Your Thoughts and Activities, Along with Structure in Your Routine
Seven: Self Monitor Shifts in Mood and Behavior to Prevent Relapse
Eight: Control Overspending Binges and Get Control of Your Finances
Nine: Take Time Daily for Relaxation
Ten: Determine What Causes Stress and Endeavor to Correct It, Handle It and Modify It
Eleven: Read for Therapy, Information and as a Positive Life Habit
Twelve: Write for Self Expression as a Stabilizing Therapy
Nutrition and Physical Needs
Thirteen: Pursue a Healthy Diet, Give Adequate Attention to Nutrition
Fourteen: Avoid Alcohol and Other Mood-Altering and Mind Altering Substances
Fifteen: Eliminate Caffeine and Cigarette Smoking
Sixteen: Regular Exercise as an Important Element of Mental Health, which Contributes to Feelings of Self-Worth and Stabilization
Seventeen: Order and Personal Hygiene Facilitate Better Mental Health
Visual and Sensory Elements of Mental Process
Eighteen: Create Art – A Side-Effect-Free Natural Mood Stabilizer
Nineteen: Avoid Overstimulation
Twenty: Consider Unplugging
Twenty-One: Engage in Positive, Pro-Active Activities Rather than Indulging in Media Violence
Twenty-two: Avoid Pornography, Overcome Pornography Addiction and Hypersexuality
Twenty-three: Music can Positively or Negatively Influence Mental Health and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Twenty-four: Neurofeeback Can Effectively Reduce Symptoms
Interpersonal Relationships and Support
Twenty-Five: Build a Support System of Concerned Friends and/or family and Extended Family
Twenty-Six: Towards Self-Disclosure: Take Down Psychological Defences
Twenty-seven: Build Your Support Team with a Coach
Twenty-eight: Get Control of Anger: Adaptive Behaviors and Responses Towards Anger Management
Spirituality, Values and Principles and Life Philosophies
Twenty-nine: Be Honest – A Force for Healing and Good Mental Health
Thirty: Seek Spiritual Growth as an Avenue Towards Recovery
Thirty-one: Avoid Negative Spiritual Views and Maintain a Healthy Balance in Your Spirituality
Thirty-two: Develop Life Principles and Philosophies that Facilitate Good Mental Health
Thirty-three: Improve Self-Esteem – Ideas Worth Considering
…bipolar disorder should not be considered to be a life sentence, and it certainly is not a death sentence. The mathematical adage, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” proves to be true with the label “bipolar disorder”.
While some in the mental health field have painted a gloomy, even negative view of recovery from bipolar disorder, statistics indicate that not only is recovery and remission possible, but that hundreds of thousands have recovered from bipolar disorder and its symptoms for good. While current statistics might indicate that for the majority who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it is considered to be a lifetime condition, part of the problem may be in the way the disorder is dealt with or treated by the mainstream psychiatric community in the first place.
With heavy emphasis on pharmaceutical treatment, which is often not effective as a long-term cure, and where relapse rates are high, even with properly administered psychiatric drugs, adequate consideration of pursuing Positive Lifestyle Changes, in addition to support from family, peers and professionals, can result in a much higher rate of recovery, where remission is likely possible and even probable.
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From the Author
There is much that you can do to overcome symptoms associated with bipolar disorder. Good mental health is hard work. You need to be educated on what causes bipolar disorder and what you can do to address individual symptoms. Because a large percentage of cases of bipolar disorder are not severe, with simple lifestyle changes, many can help themselves through self help efforts. Educating yourself on bipolar disorder and self help methods is the key. This book helps demystify bipolar disorder and provides you with resources that help put you in control.
While it is often stated that bipolar disorder is a lifetime condition, this isn’t always the case, and for a significant percentage of those diagnosed with bipolar disorder, recovery and remission can be achieved.
This book provides additional resources to help you reach your goal of recovery and remission. You can win in making gradual progress towards overcoming the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
(This book is not designed to replace professional psychological or medical assistance when necessary, but complements it).
About the Author
The Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology (AYCNP) is a New Jersey non-profit association operating as a 501 c(3) in the educational and psychology fields. It is rooted in public school education. It was started by a science teacher and doctor of educational leadership, both in Newark, NJ.
The AYCNP and its literature is non-religious and non-political. It is not supported or endorsed by any religious organization, nor are the ideas expressed in its publications rooted in any particular religious ideology. The literature of the AYCNP is eclectic in that it draws on a wide variety of resources for its information. The AYCNP has no political agenda but is strictly educationally oriented. The focus of Overcoming ADHD Without Medication and similar ideas on mental health is in practicality. Anyone can improve their mental health on any of a number of fronts through attention to practical measures, lifestyle changes and by developing coping skills.
Individual founders of the AYCNP are members of the Society for Teacher’s of Psychology and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
The AYCNP uses some of its funds towards charitable contributions directly to the Newark, NJ community to support the social, educational and artistic development of youth and children in Newark, and on a wider platform.
The AYCNP is a Member in good standing with National Council of Nonprofits and the Center for Non-Profits of NJ and operates as a 501 c(3) corporation. It provides materials and book donations to children and youth, as well as materials donations to public schools, public libraries, and to organizations involved with development of printed material on mental health issues.
The AYCNP website is Health on the Internet(HON) certified, Geneva, Switzerland, which is accredited by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Laura Pipoly is a National Board Certified Counselor and is part of the teaching faculty of the University of Phoenix. In addition to teaching she has also worked as a school counselor, case manager, psychotherapist, behavior specialist, and mobile therapist. Laura has presented at the national level at the American Counseling Association and at the state level at the All-Ohio Counselor’s Conference. Most recently, Laura was a co-presenter at the Northeast Ohio Regional Drug Summit.
Gabrielle Wood, Ph.D. is a research psychologist and consultant. She is a member of the International Leadership Association, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and the American Psychological Association. She has ten years experience conducting multi-method research and leading numerous research studies. She is a former lecturer at Christopher Newport University teaching leadership, self- analysis methods, and values exploration. She has also taught Social Psychology, among other courses, at George Mason University. Dr. Wood was a Research Fellow for the Research Fellowship Consortium in Alexandria, Virginia.