Imagine how it would be if, one minute you are at the bottom of the lake and the next minute: on top of the mountain? Also imagine that someone asks you to run up down from the bottom of the cold lake to the top of tropical mountain? Now: imagine that you are doing this for four days in a row or longer: non stop?
Please: stop for a moment, close your eyes and really imagine this.
Do I need to even say now how exhausting this would be and how difficult it would be to prevent burn out! Emotionalroller-coasterof bipolar symptoms would make everyone exhausted physically but, more importantly: emotionally.
What could be done?
Avoiding the roller-coaster makes no sense when we are already in it. Does it? The best approach is: to learn to ride safely and slow down to a more balanced and safer rhythm of levels-exchange. In order to succeed, we need to learn about the mechanism behind our personal roller-coaster and then: learn to tune it well.
Safe Psychotherapy environment would be able to support you through this learning journey of guided self-discovery. Please remember that therapists are humans too with their own strengths and vulnerabilities. It is therefore important that you find a therapist that you feel safe and comfortable with and, thus, able to engage in your therapeutic journey.
Depression is an illness. When someone brakes their leg it takes months of rehabilitation to regain it’s function and more than s year for leg to regain its shape and pre-injury muscle tone.
When, however, we brake our hart or our spirit, we somehow expect to heal fast and easy? What makes others to tell us "get over it". Does this mean that it is very easy for them? Well: it is not.
Depression involves an interplay of emotional, cognitive, physiological/physical and social changes that spiral human experience deep down into hopelessness and behaviours that aim to forget, deny, hide, run away: aims to AVOID emotional suffering. It is human. It is, however, not helpful. When avoiding, we do feel better or safer for a short time but: for a short time only! After that we feel worse! It is common vicious cycle. Longer and stronger we try to avoid: deeper and longer we struggle. Depression then dances its hurtful dance and drowns us deeper in its inabilities and grey thinking. There is no color without light.
Like on the bottom of a deep see: it all looks black until we bring the torch and light discovers what already exists there: the most astonishing power of life! It sits in each drop of water. We just need to bring somelight and start noticing it.
If you are depressed: you need help to approach the struggle in a way that can reduce emotional pressure and bring better behaviours and experiences.
Scientific research showed that currently most effective therapy approach is an integrative CBT.
Modern CBT, from Dr Aaron Beck to Dr Christine Padesky and further, is not only about thinking (cognitions) that trigger behaviours. Integrative nature of CBT emphasizes that behaviour happens as an outcome of the interactive interplay between our emotions + negative automatic thoughts +physical/body sensations in the context of a particular event. Sometime physical experience triggers misinterpretation and then: emotions follow, triggering negative automatic misinterpretations … and off we go: into a vicious cycle again! Whether emotions or thoughts trigger initial distress, the other two follow. These tree arrive like a gang: uninvited, unexpected, intrusive, harmful!
They bully us! We then wish all to stop!!! Isn't this human? It is indeed!!!
Behaviour is one of those five inter playing experiences that further involves evaluation of our own action. Stopping the cycle of suffering by avoiding, usually provides short relief but then: we realise that "problem was not gone". Avoidant behaviour does not lead to long lasting positive outcome. When we look back into it: we feel worse, think more negatively and our body hurt. This is hard on us. This can make us wish not to be “here” and not to be alive. This is a dangerous whirlpool and when happening, we need help to learn to swim through this whirlpool and swim out or pop out of this. We need to learn better life-copingskills .
The help we need is: to stop avoiding and learn to approach a difficulty in a safe and wisely-efficient way.
To explore more about CBT please go to:
People are often even afraid to mention the experiences that society often judges as “weird” or “dangerous”. These judgments are too often attributed to people who suffer from experiencing psychoses. While tormented with “alternative world that others cannot see or hear but me only” people become exposed to feeling of rejection and bad judgments. No wonder they then struggle with overwhelming confusion, fear and emotional dis-regulation.
There is a good old saying: “everything is there for a reason”. Could we, at least or a minute, accept that psychotic experience is there for some reason? If you see a person that does not exist in the eyes of others, what could be the reason for their arrival? What is the reason for voices to get into your head? What they are actually trying to do? Who they belong to?
Do we all know the following situation, for example:
Mother waits for her child, young woman to return home. A young woman said at 6:00 pm that she will be back by 11:00 pm. It is 00:10 am now. A young woman did not arrive and did not call. Mother keeps her worries close to her heart and sits sleepless, waiting, About 1:00 am, mother worries more, fears her daughter might be harmed somewhere… calls police … calls hospitals’ emergency departments… No information. Mother cries …. Mother is horrified that her thoughts and worries were true .. that her daughter lies somewhere killed … Mother catastrophises… About 4:00 am, daughter arrives home happy and sober. She enters home quietly to avoid waking her mother up. She also did not call earlier, because she thought her mother was sleeping. She suddenly found her mother standing in front of her, crying and swearing at her,… hitting her, hugging her, kissing her, blaming her ….. At that moment: daughter was shocked and afraid of her mother. At that same moment, mother was relieved and happy that her daughter was alive, but she was also overwhelmed with fear, grief and anger.
Could we understand this mother? Sure we can.
How this relates to psychotic experiences?
Well: inner voices and images are likely to be the screams and over-reaction of “our inner experiences” that we forgot about or were not aware of. When those “inner experiences” become overwhelmed, they swear on us, scream on us, do things to us that we cannot understand. We are likely to feel afraid or at least uncomfortable, when approached in a such intensive and negative way. It is normal human initial reaction.
What do you think the daughter should of done? Should she have hit her mother and run away or come to her mother, give her mother a hug and help her settle?
When we approach our screaming inner being we will find vulnerability and learn about our vulnerability that needs to be helped. When approaching our inner vulnerability in a loving and gentle manner, we will help creating safe environment for us to grow mindful and stronger. We then can help learning more effective skills that can help us live with our vulnerability and grow in a direction that we choose to.
Please see the approach enhanced by wonderful work of Dr Rufus Mey who, himself grew through his psychoses with help of Psychotherapy.