“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not a single act, but a habit.”
(This is what I’m trying to do w/ my food and fitness. The hard part is continuing it after summer is over! Every. Single. Year. Sigh… kb)
This post is quite good. It addresses the legitimate medical AND spiritual concerns that need to be addressed when helping a person who has bipolar illness. I agree with the Bible about sin and holiness. But the person with bipolar and other mental illnesses needs proper medical supervision and treatment. Going without that is extremely dangerous.
Note: as with many psychological issues, there are often both a physical and spiritual aspect of manic depression / bipolar disorder. While we believe psychologists often miss the true spiritual nature of the sickness, we strongly encourage anyone suffering with a mental illness to seek medical attention and counseling.
Answer:“Bipolar disorder” is a name that first appeared in 1957 for a severe mental illness. Before that, the same illness was called “manic depressive illness” or “manic depression,” though that name only dates back to 1921. Neither term appears in the Bible, but the Bible teaches us a number of lessons we can apply to bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness characterized by severe mood fluctuations. These fluctuations go far beyond simply being “happy” or “sad.” The “manic” symptoms can include feelings of extreme euphoria, marked increase in risk-taking, racing thoughts, forced speech, and increased energy. The…
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Not the greatest title, is it?
But it got your attention, because here you are, reading my post!
So. The title. Does this help? Doo bee D.B.T.
It refers to D.B.T., which stands for “D.ialectical B.ehavioral T.herapy:
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a research-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment originally developed by Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington, to help clients with the suicidal and self-harm behaviors often seen in Borderline Personality Disorder … DBT has since then been modified as a treatment for other complex and challenging mental disorders that involve emotional dysregulation. (from: http://mindfulnesstherapy.org/dbt/)
D.B.T. is not entirely new to me. I vaguely remember being in a DBT group about 5 years ago. I suppose if I’d had more presence of mind at the time it would have “taken” better, but I didn’t, and it didn’t. I’m not even sure I finished the course. Typically, a round of DBT requires about a year of group work and education.
That seems pretty overwhelming to me, even after all this time. But I’ve decided to try again. And here is where my AA training leaps to the rescue and reminds me: “One Day At A Time, Sweet Jesus.” (ok, the “Sweet Jesus” comes from a great song, and was ad-libbed into the phrase; I need Him more than any of this!).
Why am I returning to DBT? Well, there have been times since attending the group the first time that my therapist has referred to a DBT skill. Almost every time, my response is, “Huh?” And I really think that reviewing all of the skills could be really useful. Having gone through a recent intensive program of recovery, I have decided that it is time.
I am disgusted with myself, honestly, that I have needed more help. But I forget one thing: the nature of my illness is that I have no control over it. I can advocate for myself, I can comply with treatment, and I can seek out what I need. But as to the underlying condition, I am not responsible. Shame has no place. I will say that again: shame has no place. For those of us with mental health issues, we must remember:
We have a mental illness. It is not our fault.
Fortunately, I have a really good therapist that I’ve had since ’03. I am also in a great DBT group now. Maybe next week I’ll do better with the homework.
And I believe that we are all doing the very best that we can.
That goes for me, too.
I’ll keep you posted!