There are many different approaches to treating bipolar disorder. There are medications available to help with mood swings, and you can also use therapeutic treatments which we offer here at Santa Monica Christian Counseling. The counselors at our center will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs. If your counselor believes you could benefit from medication, they may get in contact with your primary care physician to help you get the prescription you need. There are many types of therapy that are practiced in Christian counseling for bipolar disorder. The therapy types that we use to address this condition include:
- Psychodynamic therapy: This form of therapy helps you work through experiences from your past, with a focus on painful events and relationships that may be affecting your current behavior. By understanding how your past affects your present, you can learn to effectively cope with painful experiences.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This form of therapy is very effective for bipolar patients. In cognitive behavioral therapy, you develop an awareness of negative thoughts and behavioral patterns, and through this awareness, can avoid harmful responses to your bipolar symptoms.
- Interpersonal therapy: Bipolar disorder doesn’t just affect those who suffer from it, it affects the people around them as well. Interpersonal therapy focuses on how bipolar disorder is affecting your relationships, and how you can create positive relationships while dealing with bipolar disorder.
- Social rhythm therapy: This is very important for bipolar patients who struggle to maintain a normal routine. Social rhythm therapy helps patients maintain a normal sleep schedule and effective daily routines.
- Group therapy: Bipolar patients can often benefit from talking to other people who struggle with the same disorder. Group therapy allows bipolar individuals to support one another and share their experiences in a productive way with the guidance of a therapist.
- Family therapy: Since bipolar disorder can be a challenge for families of patients, family therapy focuses on working together to combat the client’s bipolar symptoms in a healthy and supportive way. It gives those closest to the patient an opportunity to learn about bipolar disorder while also being able to share their thoughts and feelings in a compassionate, supportive environment.
Your counselor will decide which of these strategies will be most effective for your bipolar disorder. They can be used alone or in combination to address the bipolar symptoms that you struggle with most. With counseling, you can develop a greater awareness of your mood swings and learn to manage them, so you can live a happier, more productive life.
Bipolar Counseling for Children and Teens
Those with bipolar disorder typically start showing symptoms when they are in their later teenage years or early twenties. However, some children exhibit signs of bipolar much younger than this. Scientists debate whether or not bipolar disorder actually shows up in children, or whether these cases are misdiagnosed, but no conclusion has been reached. Regardless, if your child is showing symptoms of bipolar disorder, the counselors at Santa Monica Christian Counseling can help you. Many of our staff members are comfortable and experienced in working with children, and we’ll take your child’s unique needs into account to ensure that they receive the best care for their symptoms. When treating children with bipolar disorder, we use similar methods to the ones we use with adults, and our treatment consists of both faith-based and evidence-based approaches. When working with children, we communicate in a way that is appropriate for their needs and help them learn to manage their behaviors and symptoms.
Reasons to Choose Santa Monica Christian Counseling
If you’re struggling with bipolar disorder, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. The unstable nature of life with bipolar disorder not only prohibits you from living up to your full potential, but it can be dangerous as well. While there are many choices out there for counseling services, Santa Monica Christian Counseling can provide you with some unique benefits. These include:
- Developing a full understanding of bipolar disorder and how it affects those around you. Without a deep understanding of the nature of your symptoms, it’s difficult to move forward in the recovery process.
- Developing self-awareness surrounding mood swings. You’ll learn to notice when your moods are changing, which for many bipolar people is very difficult to do without counseling.
- Accessing a community of professionals who understand bipolar disorder and can provide helpful solutions, as well as other bipolar patients who can give you support and advice.
- Accessing tools and resources that can help you manage your detrimental thoughts and behaviors. With practice and guidance, you can learn to mitigate your bipolar symptoms and live a normal, comfortable life.
- Being part of a community that approaches mental health treatment from a faith-based point of view. For clients who follow Christ, it’s important to be treated by someone who can understand these values and help you improve your relationship with God and Christ through therapy.
The knowledgeable counselors provide a faith-based approach to bipolar counseling that not only can help you improve your bipolar symptoms, but can also help you learn to use the word of God and the love of Christ for support as you manage bipolar disorder and work toward your goals in life.
Bipolar Disorder Types and Symptoms
Those who struggle with bipolar disorder often feel like their lives are spinning out of control. The symptoms of bipolar disorder are very confusing, overwhelming, and exhausting, and without support, it’s difficult to live a normal life. Approximately three percent of the population suffers from bipolar disorder, but it’s suspected that as many as half of them don’t get the treatment and help they need. This is incredibly dangerous and results in suicide for nearly one in five bipolar individuals.
At Santa Monica Christian Counseling, we are here to help. Our comprehensive therapy and support can help you navigate the dark and confusing world of bipolar disorder. Learning about your bipolar disorder is the first step to healing and moving forward. If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from bipolar disorder, here are some symptoms and behavior types to watch out for.
- Bipolar depression: Bipolar depression symptoms are similar to major depression symptoms in that the patient will experience overwhelming sadness and a loss of energy and motivation. However, bipolar depression is paired with manic episodes where the patient will cycle between depression and mania. A bipolar depressive episode usually lasts two weeks or more.
- Bipolar mania: Bipolar mania is typically paired with bipolar depression. In between depressive episodes, the patient will experience elevated self-esteem and motivation, a lack of sleep, a mood that is either extremely elevated or extremely irritable, and a tendency to partake in risky behaviors such as spending large amounts of money, promiscuity, or dangerous activities. These episodes usually last about a week or more.
- Hypomania: Hypomania patients experience some of the same symptoms as bipolar mania, but usually don’t partake in risky behavior. Instead, they experience increased motivation and an elevated mood. People who experience hypomania are often difficult to diagnose because their symptoms are more subtle.
- Mixed episode: This is when a bipolar patient will experience symptoms of both mania and depression at the same time. Mixed episode bipolar symptoms usually occur for about a week at a time.
- Rapid-cycling: Patients who transition between mania and depression at least four times in a year are considered to have rapid-cycling bipolar.
There are also two types of bipolar disorder. Each person’s experience with bipolar is completely unique, but there are certain groups of symptoms that can help to differentiate between types, and therefore help us to provide more effective treatment. Bipolar type one sufferers usually experience what we think of as ‘stereotypical’ bipolar symptoms, with periods of intense mania, severe depression, and mixed episodes. Bipolar type two is less severe than bipolar type one. Type two patients usually experience hypomania instead of a full manic episode, and although they do suffer severe depression at times, their moods aren’t quite as severe.