365daysofbipolar.com

Where We Learn To Connect With Our Authentic Selves.

Category: False Beliefs and Assumptions (page 1 of 3)

Cognitive Distortions Part 2 (Possible Trigger Warning.)

If you are visiting the website, please click on the title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences in the hope they may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

Please read my full disclosure and privacy policy here:

What is Cognitive Distortion?

“A cognitive distortion is an exaggerated or irrational thought pattern involved in the onset and perpetuation of psychopathological states, especially those more influenced by psychosocial factors, such as depression and anxiety.”  Wikipedia

The Wikipedia definition does not specifically list bipolar disorder as a psychopathological disorder, but it is clearly stated in this article, https://www.verywellmind.com/a-list-of-psychological-disorders-2794776

Cognitive distortion, in its many forms, plagued me when bipolar disorder ruled my life. Especially when I fueled my bipolar with alcohol and drugs, stress or anxiety.

Science has identified at least 50 different cognitive distortions. Some are minor mental blocks, while others can be quite scary.

When cognitive distortion takes over, your brain is lying to you. It is causing you to interpret situations in your life falsely.

It is through cognitive distortion that we form the deeply seated false beliefs we come to hold.

Under the influence of cognitive distortion, we become almost unreachable.

To remove cognitive distortions and the deep-seated beliefs that we form in our distorted thinking, therapy is required. I am not a therapist and this blog is not about how to heal from cognitive distortion. I can only define cognitive distortion and discuss the most common forms I experienced in my bipolar life.

The 10 Types of Cognitive Distortion That I Believed Most:

  1. Perfectionist Thinking: I put this distortion as number one because studies conducted after suicides are proving that this perfectionist thinking distortion is the cause in over 50% of the cases, with or without a co-occurring mental health issue. This is the “if I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all,” way of thinking. There is also another side to the perfectionist thinking distortion that is seldom equated with it. That is, “everyone is better than me” thinking. Both of these ways of thinking that keeps us stuck. The “if I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all,” distortion kept me from writing anything for over 20 years The “everyone is better than me” thinking could keep me from blogging. There are many better bloggers than I am. Instead, I did something novel, I attach their blogs to this one. So you get the best I can offer as well as access to the best blogs and bloggers. That they are better than me then becomes irrelevant.
  2. Personalization:  This distortion is exactly what it says, we take everything personally. I think this distortion should be called, “everything is my fault.” My personal example of this was a friend who asked me what meds I was taking. I told him and he convinced his doctor to prescribe them. A few days later he killed himself. I believed for years that his death was all my fault. If I hadn’t told him about that med this would not have happened. That is not true, but it was hard to convince me otherwise.
  3. Blaming: This is the exact opposite of personalization. Everything that is wrong in your life is someone else’s fault. “None of this would have happened if my wife hadn’t died.” “The business would not have gone under if I had a better partner.” I actually said and believed both of those statements.
  4. Arbitrary inference:  This distortion causes us to believe something without any evidence to support that belief. “I am going to get fired.” “Everyone hates me.” Those are my favorite examples from my own life.
  5. Selective Abstraction: This distortion is also called Catastrophic Thinking. This happens when we take one minor event and come to a catastrophic conclusion. My girlfriend was supposed to meet me at 5 pm. It is now 5:20 so she must no longer want this relationship. The fact that she was stuck in traffic never entered my mind.
  6. Mental Filtering:  This distortion only allows you to see only the negative and totally ignore anything positive. One of my personal favorite distortions. “My shoes aren’t shined, no one is going to listen to me.” It’s not perfect, so it is useless.”
  7. Overgeneralization: is when we come to a general conclusion based on one bad incident or event. For me, the loss of my first wife caused me to believe everyone in my life was going to abandon me was the biggest example of this distortion.
  8. Should And Must Statements: This distortion is self-explanatory and two-sided. As an expert in I should/they should and I must/they must, let me explain. There are the I should’s, should haves and should not or I must, I must not, we apply to ourselves and then there are the, they should, they should have and they should not, they must, or they must not, we apply to others. The “should, should not, must, must not” game unintentionally applies very strict rules to our lives and the lives of others. Rules that are unbendable and, in all seriousness, only break us. This game creates depression and anger and is the fuel for the constant irritability in our lives. Should’s and musts are words I removed from my vocabulary and my thoughts.
  9. Emotional Reasoning: This distortion leads us to believe our feelings are fact, but it is slightly more complicated than that. My jealousy made me believe my wife was sleeping with every guy she saw. Feeling equals fact. I was overwhelmed in a lot of situations and therefore I could never solve a problem. Emotional reasoning causes us to conclude falsely based on a feeling. It does not necessarily mean that we are saying our feelings are a fact. But that our feelings are fueling an irrational conclusion. This distortion makes it hard for us to learn to trust our gut instincts. If you always jumped to the wrong conclusion from a feeling it is very hard to believe that you can learn to come to the right conclusions from a feeling. I have learned with a lot of help you can begin to trust your gut instincts.
  10. Jumping to Conclusions: This distortion is divided into two parts – mind reading, you know exactly what a person is feeling or thinking based on nothing. Or fortune-telling you know exactly what the outcome of a future situation is going to be – and it will be horrible. Mind reading – “She just winked at me – she loves me.” “He just looked at his watch, this must be a horrible meeting.”  In both those instances, I was totally wrong of course. The lady did wink at me because I did something, she appreciated but she could not speak of it in that situation. She did not love me.  The guy didn’t even look at his watch, he scratched his elbow. He came up and told me it was a fantastic meeting.   Fortune Telling – “My bipolar will always rule my life.”  And now I have a life I wouldn’t trade for anything. “I am going to screw this up.” Not so much anymore and if I do, I laugh. We don’t know the future so why is it we think we do?

Early on in my journey towards mental wellness when my anxiety, stress and other bipolar symptoms would leave for a bit and then come back, I could feel the cognitive distortions, especially delusions, personalization, blaming and mental filtering, begin to gain control. That was one of the strangest feelings I ever had, it was like I was sliding out of reality.

Cognitive distortions can be banished from our lives. With the help of a good therapist and by learning and practicing the specific questions we need to ask ourselves to ward off the distortion we can free ourselves.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds, and lives.

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

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

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

Related Products:

https://amzn.to/3ab6q86

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020. Please comment below as I am very interested in your opinion.

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 their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Madelyn Heslet.

Cognitive Distortions (Possible Trigger Warning.)

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences in the hope they may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

Please read my full disclaimer and privacy policy here:

What is Cognitive Distortion?

“A cognitive distortion is an exaggerated or irrational thought pattern involved in the onset and perpetuation of psychopathological states, especially those more influenced by psychosocial factors, such as depression and anxiety.”  Wikipedia

The Wikipedia definition does not specifically list bipolar disorder as a psychopathological disorder, but it is clearly stated in this article, https://www.verywellmind.com/a-list-of-psychological-disorders-2794776

Cognitive distortion, in its many forms, plagued me when bipolar disorder ruled my life. Especially when I fueled my bipolar with alcohol, drugs, stress or anxiety.

Science has identified at least 50 different cognitive distortions. Some are minor mental blocks, while others can be quite scary.

When cognitive distortion takes over, your brain is lying to you. It is causing you to interpret situations in your life falsely.

It is through cognitive distortion that we form the deeply seated false beliefs we come to hold.

Under the influence of cognitive distortion, we become almost unreachable.

To remove cognitive distortions and the deep-seated beliefs that we form in our distorted thinking, therapy is required. I am not a therapist and this blog is not about how to heal from cognitive distortion. I can only define cognitive distortion and discuss the most common forms I experienced in my bipolar life.

Bipolar Disorders Star Cognitive Distortion:

Delusions:  Delusions are defined as a firm or fixed belief not based on fact, or open to rational argument, or behavior that is out of character for the sufferer. Wikipedia.

Delusional thinking is a symptom of bipolar disorder and I have chosen to cover this distortion separately.

As a sufferer of bipolar 1 disorder delusions were a major part of my active illness. As such, I have a lot to say about them

The Types of Delusions:

  1. Jealous – believes that his or her spouse or sexual partner is unfaithful. What they do not add in most definitions of this delusion is, “without proof.” If you have proof, it is not a delusion. This was me, always jealous and it took a lot of therapy to convince me this was a delusion. To describe this delusion, it is where jealousy is more than an emotion and becomes an all-consuming thought. Today I know the difference. Yes, I get jealous when some guy is paying my girlfriend to much attention. That is a normal emotion, so my therapist says.  I do not automatically, and always, think my girlfriend is cheating on me.
  2. Persecutory – you believe that you (or someone close to you) are being mistreated, or that someone is spying on you or planning to harm you. This delusion only happened to me under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Mostly it was someone spying on me or trying to harm me. I have suffered from the milder form of this delusion, everyone is against me, not that long ago. Writing this, I can easily recall the feeling of terror this delusion, that both the mild version or the extreme version, generated.
  3. Grandiose – an over-inflated sense of worth, power, knowledge, identity or invincibility. At the extreme, a person might believe he or she has a great talent or has made an important discovery. Have you ever been manic? This is mania. Write a 300,000-word novel in a week thinking it is the greatest thing ever written. In the light of reality, you find it is mostly gibberish. I still have that pile of paper to remind me. Yes, I have had that delusion of grandiosity.
  4. Erotomanic – believing that another person, often someone important or famous, is in love with you.  The extreme is stalking and trying to contact the person may happen. I have never had this delusion directed at a famous person, but I have unfortunately had this delusion, Even thinking about it makes me sad. I don’t think I ever stalked or tried to contact the person, but I was obsessed.
  5. Mixed – when two or more of the types of delusions listed above are held at the same time. Grandiosity and jealousy were never far from each other in my bipolar world. The weirdest was when I held the Erotomanic delusion, Grandiosity, and Jealousy all at the same time. Picture this scenario, I am a great writer in love with a woman and believe she loves me. I believe she is cheating on me.  I had only seen the woman briefly on a bus, once. That was it.  A great plot for a romance novel, but in real life not so much. So yes, I have experienced mixed state delusions.
  6. Somatic – believing you have a physical defect or medical problem. This is a delusion that I have never held. Maybe because of my invincibility belief.

Delusional thinking can be banished from our lives. With the help of a good therapist and by learning and practicing the specific questions we need to ask ourselves to ward off the delusion we can free ourselves.

To Be Continued ………….

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds, and lives.

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

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

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

Related Products:

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020. Please comment below as I am very interested in your opinion.

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 their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by BP Magazine.

The Tool to Change your Destiny

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

One of the things that shocked me into changing my thinking and challenging my beliefs was reading a quote that was attributed to Margret Thatcher, but a further study shows the author is unknown or possibly Loa Tzu of Toa Te Ching fame. The quote reads:

“Be careful of your thoughts, they become your words.

Be careful of your words, they become your actions.

Be careful of your actions, they become your habits.

Be careful of your habits, they become your character.

Be careful of your character, it becomes your destiny.”

When I looked at this quote it struck me that I had the destiny of an insane person (the hospital stays, lost jobs, lost relationships) and if I did not change my thinking things would never get better and that destiny would continue to its inevitable end. I did not want that destiny that said over and over “life is not worth living.”  I wanted something else, a life worth living and that simple quote showed me it was possible to get it. The question was how?

To save you the pain of how my bipolar mind concluded the “how” I will share the simple answer. The simple answer is I had to change my words. The words I said to myself and the words I said to others, even the words I wrote. By working on changing the words I thought, spoke and wrote and by challenging the lies my bipolar mind told through the help of a therapist – Lies are made up of words. Just saying – I have been able, over time, to change my thinking and thus I have changed my destiny. My destiny today is one of inner peace, serenity, and joy. The three things that are worth more than money.

What I find interesting is that science is now agreeing with what my bipolar mind came up with all on its own. Science has confirmed, “If you change your words you can change “you” right down to your genetic level.”

 In their book “Words Can Change Your Brain,” Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman write: “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”

Another great book on this topic is Andrea Gardner’s, “Change Your Words, Change Your World.” Which is basically her story and provides some great tools to help with incorporating positive words into your inner and outer speech.

The other aspect of implementing this change of words is to place a guard at the gate of your mind. It is one thing to become conscious of what is going in and out of your mind verbally, but it is equally important to become conscious of what is going into your subconscious from other sources. To put it bluntly, if everyone and everything you are listening to, reading and seeing reinforce the false beliefs you hold then you will make little progress.

This is a multi-faceted subject, but if you start with what you have total control over, the words you think, say and write, you will find that things will change.

That is the “how” of changing your destiny and if you begin to practice changing your words you will begin to change.

 As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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

I say,” Work hard 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 and follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/365daysofbipolarcom-1412484182389749. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/365daysofbipol2

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 their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Dr. Deborah Serani Psy.D

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/two-takes-depression/201702/why-self-care-is-hard-depressed-individuals

From glued to the bed to walking underwater.

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

I know every year somewhere from the middle of October to the middle of November the seasonal aspect of my bipolar disorder is going to strike. Sending me into a deep depression.

This year it struck last weekend. It had been creeping up over the previous week, the irritability reappeared. A bipolar symptom that is the harbinger of my depression to come.

This year I slept a lot on Saturday and missed my usual Sunday morning breakfast get together. But I also made a great supper for my girlfriend both days, did the dishes both times and cleaned my apartment. Even though it felt like I was walking underwater. Walking underwater is the only way I can impart the slow sluggish feeling that moving while depressed feels like. Everything is in slow motion, your thinking, your movements. Sometimes even your speech as your thought to speech transmission slips into neutral. It is a struggle.

This annual slide into depression is the most debilitating aspect of my bipolar disorder.

This annual slide into depression is also how I judge my progress. For most of my life, this annual slide into depression would destroy my life. I would be glued to the bed for months. A couple of times this depression spanned a couple of years. Due to this depression, I was unable to do anything. I lost jobs or if I was able to keep them, I phoned in sick a lot.

I learned a lot about myself studying this slide into depression and work.  I thought that I was well suited to farming as where I live the growing season goes from May to October. But mania used to rule my life during the summer back then. So, that didn’t work out well either. I did learn that if I took a job, I could not work the day shift. Either I worked afternoons or nights, or I could not keep the job. For the past decade, I have worked four to midnight at the same place, the longest I have kept a job in my life.

It has been while holding this job that I have been able to study my progress from glued to bed when the depression hit to walking underwater.  I did this by practicing what I preach a lot today, “You can take the initiative against depression.”

Do not doubt that I am depressed as I write this, I cannot even tell if this is coherent. The big lesson I have learned is this, our brains tell us we must do some great thing to defeat depression. The truth is it is by doing little things even if it feels like we are walking underwater that really works.  Doing something for someone else also seems to help as well. When I listed my weekend accomplishments at the beginning of this post, they were not huge things. I made a couple of meals and shared them with my girlfriend. I did the dishes both times and I cleaned my apartment and I felt like I was walking underwater the whole time. But I also felt like I was doing something worthwhile.

If you get up and do one little thing even if it feels like it is the greatest weight you have ever lifted, you will find that feeling of doing something worthwhile. Then you can build on “taking the initiative against depression.”

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our minds

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

I say,” Work hard 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 and follow us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/365daysofbipol2

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 their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Sharon Davis

bipolar.newlifeoutlook.com/yoga-for-mental-health/

Ten Things to Think about

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

————————————————————————————————————-

Although bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it, there are many common traits. This week is I propose ten things to think about on how we treat our best friends better than we treat ourselves.

  1. We can always trust our BFF. Yet, we never trust ourselves.
  2. We would always be accepting of our BFF. Yet, we always have trouble accepting ourselves.
  3. We would never lie to our BFF. Yet, we always lie to ourselves.
  4. We would never judge our BFF. Yet, we are always our biggest critic.
  5. We would always listen to our BFF. Yet, we seldom listen to ourselves
  6. We would always forgive our BFF. Yet, we can’t forgive ourselves.
  7. We would always make our BFF feel wanted and included. Yet, we isolate ourselves.
  8. We would always celebrate the successes of our BFF. Yet, we instantly downplay anything good we ever do.
  9. We don’t have to try to do things with our BFF. Yet, doing anything in our own life is a chore.
  10.  We are always kind to our BFF. Yet we are seldom kind to ourselves.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health 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 hard 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 and follow us on Facebook at 365daysofbipolar.com.

Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

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 their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Margarita Tartakovsky M.S.

https://psychcentral.com/blog/are-you-making-these-4-communication-mistakes-in-your-romantic-relationship/

I Suffer From Imposter Syndrome

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experience in the hope it may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Please note that I only recommend books and products that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

————————————————————————————————————-

Having written this blog for five years with organizations wanting to pay to be part of this site, published a children’s story, with a second in the process of being published and asked to write a book about my take on bipolar disorder, which are all good solid accomplishments. Yet, there was always this nagging doubt in the back of my mind. This doubt that I was not worthy or just a plain fraud. This doubt has been holding me back. Keeping me from fully enjoying these accomplishments and striving for more, no matter what I do. But today I have a name for what is holding me back. It is called imposter syndrome. For me that is important, putting a name to the problem. Marc Brackett of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence said it best, “Labeling your emotions is key. If you can name it, you can tame it.”

That is what I am now able to do, work on taming this feeling that I am an imposter.

What on earth is imposter syndrome, you may ask? “The imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. Not an actual disorder, the term was coined by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978, when they found that despite having adequate external evidence of accomplishments, people with imposter syndrome remained convinced that they don’t deserve the success they have.” Psychology Today.

That sums up how I feel. Now that the problem has a name, I can find a solution. Having overcome other things that hitched a ride on my bipolar disorder, like addiction and severe codependency. The clinical term is comorbid disorders, but I really dislike that word. “Hitched a ride on my bipolar” paints a better picture in my mind. A picture that shows, yes these are separate things, but they stuck to me because of my untreated bipolar disorder.  

Today, I know that there is a way to root out these deeply internalized feelings that are blocking my connection with my authentic self. I will keep you posted on how dealing with Imposter Syndrome in my life progresses and what tools I use to rid myself of these thought patterns.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health 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 hard 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 at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

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 their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by
Susan Biali Haas, M.D.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/prescriptions-life/201903/make-good-habit-stick-notice-how-good-it-feels

Finding a different starting point

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”.

I had to find a different starting point for many things in my life. I had to find a different starting point in the area of meditation than what was being offered me, as none of those ways worked. I had to find different definitions for ambition and success before I could really move forward.

When I read the quote, “Discover who you truly are and fully give every aspect of your uniqueness to the world. This is your path to an extraordinary life.” James McWhinney.

That is what I really wanted, “an extraordinary life” but I only saw one part of what the author was saying, that is “give every aspect of your uniqueness to the world.”. I latched on to that part of the quote and missed the rest. Because I did show “every aspect of my uniqueness to world” on a lot of occasions and all it ever got me was rejected or locked up. So that approach has a real stigma attached to it and “showing my uniqueness” was not my path to an extraordinary life.

What I am writing about is how we, as bipolar sufferers, must look at things that are said and written and then set out for the “so called normal” world. We must recognize that we see and interpret things differently. Even when we are on the path to mental wellness, we must be careful that we are hearing and reading what is said and written and not go by the reaction in our head. When I read things like the above quote I need to slow down and read the whole quote a few times. Then relate that quote to what I know.

For me the path to extraordinary life did lay in discovering who I truly was. I called it “growing my inner child”, but “giving every aspect of my uniqueness to the world” was not part of that path

I am not about show my uniqueness to the world ever again, because my uniqueness to me means me in my illness.  I have worked diligently at discovering who I am so that I can present that person to the world, the sane reasonable person. I find I am not that unique when I am close to mental wellness. I can find sameness or shared ideals with others that do not make me feel isolated, unique and different. Those feelings and actions of isolation and uniqueness are a part of my illness. Always thinking I was different was fuel for my illness.

If I want to carve a path to an extraordinary life, my uniqueness and the stigma attached to that word is not the direction that I need to go in, I need to find a different starting point. On this issue of finding an extraordinary life, I find looking for the sameness with others, especially those I respect, to be the starting point for me.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health 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 hard 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 at 365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on Twitter @365daysofbipol2

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 their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Melanie McKinnon as appeared in BPHope blog.

Due to a technical error this blog is unavailable.

Grow that Inner Child Up Part 1

Image result for inner child quotes

 

I always begin writing each post with the same premise in mind, “bipolar is as individual as the people that suffer from it”. There are things that seem to be common to all of us as sufferers of bipolar disorder. A couple of those things are our wounded inner selves and the angry, demanding and demeaning voice in our heads. I am not a fan of the term inner child, but it has become quite popular and most people know what I am referring to when I use that term. The other term for the inner child that I have come across is “inner shadow” a term made popular in the book “The Tools” by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels.  Nor am I a fan of the concept that your inner child or inner shadow will always be with you. I believe that we can learn to grow that inner child/inner shadow to adulthood by learning to parent ourselves. The job of a parent, to take an infant and nurture it to maturity. Why can’t we take the same approach to the scared, immature child/shadow that bipolar disorder seems to have created within us and by practicing good parenting skills bring that inner child/inner shadow to maturity?

We cannot even start to nurture and love that scared, immature inner child/shadow without first dealing with that angry, demanding, demeaning voice in our heads. In my case, that voice was what my inner child had been afraid of all along.  First, you must believe as an adult you have the power to change that voice from angry, demanding and demeaning to a loving, caring voice that encourages and never criticizes. Secondly, you must bring in new knowledge and practice shutting down the old voice and introducing the new voice. I will be the first to tell you that shutting down the old voice will cause great inner turmoil in the beginning but battling through this turmoil is worth it.

When I was first told that I could change the voice in my head from angry, demanding, demeaning enemy to a loving, caring, encouraging friend I had a hard time believing it. I also had a hard time believing that voice in my head was not me. I think most of us do because we have lived with that voice for so long. Learning that only about 26% of all people have the voice in their head, their inner narrator, also was eye-opening. That statistic told me that I could even eliminate that voice if I tried and really helped convince me that I was not that inner voice. I am still a long way from eliminating that voice in my head, but I have converted it to an encouraging friend.

For this week I want to conclude by saying that before we can even reach our wounded inner selves we must deal with our inner voice and we will continue that topic next week.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health 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 hard 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. 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 their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Dr.Ellen Albertson

http://drellenalbertson.com/6-steps-to-overcome-fear-and-step-into-your-brilliance

 

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/

 

 

A Talk On Antidepressants And The Word “Addictive”

Image result for words are important quotes

 

I seldom enter discussions about drugs used in the treatment of mental health conditions for two very specific reasons: 1: I am not a doctor. 2: In the case of my own illness, bipolar disorder, I believe bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it. This means what works for me may not work for you. This applies to meds, the tools I have developed to control my own illness and even how my illness affects me day to day compared to you.

That said, there has been a lot in the media, both regular and social, lately regarding the “Addictive” nature of antidepressants. To such a level it even encroached on my personal life. Which is why I have chosen to write this blog post.

I believe words are incredibly important in our lives, especially around what we tell ourselves, what we say to others that boomerang back into our own mind and what people we feel are authorities tell us.

Since this topic of the “Addictive” nature antidepressants came to affect someone I really care about, causing them to question if they should be taking a medication that seems to be helping them. I want to share what I told this person.

First, I want to state clearly, I am a recovered addict and I take an antidepressant. This gives me the only credentials required to take on this subject.

When the media and even the book learned professionals within the mental health community sensationalize this issue by using the word “Addictive” along with the word antidepressants they are causing a problem for people they have never met. The problem they create is causing people to question “IF.”

“If this medication is “Addictive” maybe I should not take it, even if the medication maybe helping/or could help/ me.

All this doubt based on this one word, “Addictive.”

Let us look at antidepressants and how they are handled. No one is ever prescribed an antidepressant without there being a need. Now I am the first to admit there may be pill pushing doctors out there but these are a rarity not the norm. In normal circumstances, there must be a need for any medication to be prescribed. The key word is prescribed. It is regulated by dose and by the amount taken. Antidepressants are to be taken as directed. Do people abuse prescription drugs? Of course, a small percentage does because of their own issues. Again, this it out of the norm, most people take their medications as prescribed.

The other issue is the word ““Addictive”” which scares people and causes regular ordinary people to imagine they will become one of those people in back alleys with brown paper bags and/or shooting drugs in their veins. This is the image conjured up in the mind of the person I care about after being told that the antidepressants they had been prescribed were “Addictive.”

Having been an addict, I can tell you if you are sincerely trying to overcome your problems and need meds to help, that won’t happen.

In my opinion and in the opinion of professionals I respect this word ““Addictive”” must go because it is not the correct word to use. “Addictive” means there are no controls beyond self-control and if you are an addict you have no self-control.

This is not to say that long term antidepressant use is not without possible side effects. One of the main side effects is dependency. You can become dependent on the medication to get you through the day.

Isn’t dependency and addicted the same thing? No, it is not. Firstly, to become dependent you must be on an antidepressant for a long time. The rules in most of the western world are that to renew a prescription after so many refills you must see your doctor first. A form of control, “Addictive” means there are no controls

To say you “may become dependent on a medication if taken over a long period.” is very different than saying “this medication is “Addictive”.” One way lets a person know there are risks. The other makes the person feel they are personally at risk. One is fact based, the other plays on your emotions, mostly creating fear.

The word “Addictive” must go from our discussions about antidepressants and be replaced with the word “Dependent.”  There has been enough damage done.

 

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:

How to Become a Mental Health Advocate

 

 

« Older posts