Tag Archives: Attitude

Therapy and Self-Talk

 

 

I believe that to manage bipolar disorder effectively therapy is essential. I also believe that when we decide we no longer want our bipolar disorder to rule our lives we become two distinct people. The person who wants to get mentally well and the person we were who resists change.  To over come that resistance we need a third person objective opinion to help us change. That person is a trained therapist. A therapist is needed to help us change our thinking and challenge our beliefs to bring us back to reality.  I owe a lot to the therapists that have helped me.

When it comes to sharing about therapy, I can only share my experiences and what I have learned in the hopes it helps you. I am not a therapist or councillor.

I was miss diagnosed with OCD for many years. Thus, my experience with therapists prior to my proper diagnosis was never good as we were all working on false assumptions. Kind of like trying to fix the tires on a car when it was the engine that was the problem and wondering why it wouldn’t go. Once I received my proper diagnosis of BP1 my experience with therapists changed dramatically.

In therapy, the first lesson I learned was that my self talk fueled my bipolar. What I said to myself fueled both my manias and my depressions. I knew that my self talk fueled my manias before I ever met a therapist. I had described the highs I had (mania) as “being driven by ideas, good or bad” for years prior to being properly diagnosed. The lesson for me was how my self talk pushed me deeper and deeper into depression.

“What I learned in therapy was that myself talk fueled my bipolar, both the manias and depressions”

The second lesson that I learned was that myself talk was based on my irrational beliefs about myself, others and the world around me.

“You will find it difficult, if not impossible to manage your emotions and life while holding irrational beliefs and using irrational self-talk statements.” Lynn Clark Ph.D. From the book “SOS – Help for Emotions.”

Although that is not exactly what my therapist said to me, it is close. This is when my therapy experience turned into beneficial work. My therapist and I had to find out what my irrational beliefs were and how they affected my self talk.

“What I learned in therapy was that my self-talk was based on my irrational beliefs about myself, others and the world around me.”

The third lesson I learned in therapy took a long time to believe could happen. but was talked about in the same session where we discussed how my irrational beliefs drove my self-talk was discussed.  My therapist told me I can remove and replace my irrational beliefs with rational beliefs. More importantly, I can change my self-talk from the negative way I spoke to myself and others to an encouraging, positive way of speaking to myself and others.

“What I learned in therapy was I could change.”

The fourth lesson I learned in therapy was to listen to myself. My therapist had been doing something since that first session that I did not know about until we reached this point. He had been listening for my most often repeated negative words and then counting how many times I used these words in a one-hour session. As this session ended he handed me the page from his legal pad.

It read:

Stupid – 10 times
Dumb – 5 times
Useless – 2 times
Hate – 25 times

In a one-hour session, I had used the word “Hate” 25 times. No wonder I was angry. I also showed what I thought of myself at that moment in time. I was stupid, dumb and useless. Today I know that none of those words were ever true, back then or now.

Then he said, “If this is what you are saying out loud, I can only imagine what you are saying in your head.”

From that day forward I tried to listen to myself. First by listening to what I said out loud and after time to what I was telling myself inside my head. It was only by doing this could I hear and then change the negative words that I used.

“What I learned in therapy was to listen to myself, what I said out loud and in my head.”

I attended regular weekly therapy for two years. In that time, I learned many things about myself. The main thing I learned is that when serious issues come up even today I need that third person objective opinion to help me change. The objective opinion of a trained therapist.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching the link to their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Angela Ayles

http://www.activebeat.co/your-health/13-symptoms-of-bipolar-disorder-are-you-bipolar/

 

 

Opinion, Belief and Conviction

Image result for Quotes on negative convictions

Last week I started talking about how to maintain mental wellness long term and ended by stating, “it is our thinking that starts our emotional turmoil and our mood swings. If we do not work to change our minds we have nothing with which to deal with any crisis we encounter, but our same old fall back emotional responses that have never worked for us in the past.”  This week I want to examine how our thinking works to defeat us and how we can change our thinking with the help of a good therapist to bring us real change in our lives.

In setting some very ambitious goals for 2016 and reaching many and setting higher goals for 2017, that old familiar feeling of self doubt attacked me. Those statements in my head that persistently, and loudly, say you will never meet those goals, amount to anything, are a perpetual failure, rang around in my mind.

This is where being the most fortunate suffer of bipolar disorder in the world pays off.  I am employed at the same place as my psychiatrist, my GP and my mental health counselors, which means when my mind attacks me, I do not have to wait to talk to someone. I can just knock on their door and if they have a few minutes, I can tell them the issue and they can give me instant feed back. Basically they can tell me what I am telling myself is a load of crap and not to believe it. Besides reinforcing the positive things going on in my life.

That is the essence of therapy, to have an impartial person of skill and training to point out, and have us then challenge the false negative opinions, beliefs and convictions we hold of ourselves, others and the world around us. We then have to follow up by putting positive information into our minds, which surprisingly can be as false as the negative stuff we just removed. The mind knows no difference. We cannot see our own false beliefs, negative or positive, because we believe them even if they are totally false and bear no resemblance to reality. We convince ourselves to believe things to be true. We really have no idea if they are true or not.  It is by what we see, what we hear, and what we experience that we form our opinions on life. Those opinions we form, become our beliefs and then deep our deep convictions of how things work. At the deep conviction stage, it is difficult to root them out.

Luckily I took action at the opinion stage of things and didn’t wait for them to start digging in. I spent two and half years in therapy to dig out my negative convictions about myself, others and the world around me. It was damn hard work. I would prefer never to have to repeat that work.  By catching those negative thoughts at the opinion stage, it was much easier to remove those negative thoughts and replace those thoughts with positive things.

It is by understanding that those deep convictions, or core beliefs, create the prism through which we view life, that we can begin to change. We need a guide to show us which of these deep convictions is helping us or hurting us. This guide can also give is the insight into new ways of looking at things, past, present and future. That guide is our therapist.

The essence of therapy is to have an impartial person of skill and training to point out and have us then challenge the false beliefs, negative opinions,  and convictions we hold of ourselves, others and the world around us. Please see this attached article by Betterhelp.com on how to find an online therapist near you.

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/how-do-i-find-a-therapist-near-me/

 

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Wednesday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. I hope you enjoy this week’s Blog by Dr. Giuseppe (Joe) Accardi from Consultinghealth.com.

Psychoanalytic Therapy: Unconscious vs. Subconscious Mind

A Questioning Attitude for 2017

 

Let’s start 2017 with a question, or a series of questions. Let us start the year with a questioning attitude that keeps us questioning our ideas, beliefs and attitudes all year long. Questioning our ideas, beliefs and attitudes leads to change and 2017 is a great year to change ourselves.

When someone speaks of managing bipolar disorder, they speak of eating right and physical exercise. Why are nutrition and exercise spoke of more often than fixing our thinking and feeding our minds things of a positive nature for a mental illness? Is it not our minds that are sick?

Why is the pain that causes many of our bizarre behaviours and addictions never identified as spiritual pain as expressed by our emotions?

Why do so many people think that taking medication is enough to manage bipolar disorder?

This first question is my aim for 2017, to speak out about feeding our minds. Changing our thinking is the most important thing we can do for ourselves. I am not negating proper nutrition and exercise. I just want to put the importance of each in the right order. What we feed our minds with bipolar disorder can be more important than what we feed our bodies. Training our thinking can be far more important than training our muscles. We are dealing with an illness of the mind; we need to concentrate on healing our mind.

There is mounting scientific evidence that developing a strong spiritual self is helpful in dealing with bipolar disorder. It is becoming evident that the pain that drives our bizarre behaviours and many of our addictive ways is spiritual pain as expressed by our emotions. Our emotions are the only way to express pain, be it physical, mental or spiritual. It is impossible for emotions to express pain as emotions are the vehicle of expression, not a location like mind, body and spirit. When people suggest they are expressing emotional pain, they are really expressing spiritual pain.

As we feel pain when we over use our muscles or over tax our minds, we can and do feel spiritual pain. We can also strengthen our spirits, just as we improve our muscles and our knowledge. In strengthening our spirits, we are better able to cope with the ups and downs of our lives.

So many feel that once they find medications that level out their highs and lows and they feel stable that is all they have to do to manage their bipolar disorder. Popping a few pills only gives you a stable platform on which to build. We failed in building the life we wanted because we had no stability. We could play the blame game or be victims of our illness, but in reality our lack of emotional stability stopped us from building anything. Once we have a proper diagnosis and proper medication that gives us some stability we can fully enter the school of life and unlearn all the bad habits that bipolar disorder created in our lives. Replacing them with good habits that allow us to become useful and productive members of society.

Let us make our goal for 2017 mental wellness and becoming useful and productive members of society through constantly questioning our ideas, beliefs and attitudes, replacing those that lead to false ideals with realistic beliefs and attitudes.

 

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on twitter.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. I hope you enjoy this weeks Blog:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2017/01/01/few-smokers-with-serious-mental-illness-get-help-to-kick-habit/114511.html

 

 

 

Attitude

jack-sparrow-quotes

The problem is I have BP 1 to which there is no cure. This does not mean there is not a solution. Captain Jack Sparrow gives us the solution, our attitude towards the illness that affects us. If we have the proper attitude we can overcome this problem.

Once we expend the effort, time and trials to find the proper medication to stabilize our mind. This can be one of the greatest hurdles in our lives, finding the proper medication. We then have a starting point to build a better way of living.  Without a stable mind our lives are as fickle as the wind. I can never stress this enough to myself and to you, a stable mind is the essential beginning but it is only the beginning.

“To live the life I want Action is required.

I can think and dream about the life I want,

But unless I actually do something things will

Stay the same.”

We have a mental illness, why is it such a stretch to realize we have to fix our minds not just stabilize them. That effort and action are required to reach that place I call mental wellness. The first step on that journey to mental wellness is a change in our attitude.

“Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.” Marcus Aralias.

I felt such a sense of injury about my life and my diagnosis seemed to compound my hurt in the beginning. That feeling everyone and everything had hurt me. That I was the victim here was the predominant feeling of my life.

“How would your life be different if…You stopped validating your victim mentality? Let today be the day…You shake off your self-defeating drama and embrace your innate ability to recover and achieve.”
― Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free

That was the question, “How would my life be different if I changed my attitude?”

If I change my attitude my life becomes entirely different instantly on the inside, but the reprograming takes time and by degrees my life becomes different on the outside as the new programing takes over. My life matched both my inside and outside while my illness controlled me. My life did not become that way in an instant but progressed as my illness progressed, it took time and a lot of terrible situations to build the reactions I established to get me through the day. It took some of those reactions not working for me any longer to see there may be something wrong with me.

My attitude can change from negative to positive at any time I choose. Like the poles on a battery, attitude can be reversed.

 

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere