Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Bipolar Disorder

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT Can Also Help To Manage Bipolar Symptoms

In addition to medication therapy is often recommended as a way to help manage the disorder.  Medication alone does not always prevent relapses or symptoms in between episodes that are not significant enough to change medications or dosages.  High rates of relapse could be because of alcohol or drug use, high stress levels, medication non-compliance, or poor daily functioning.  These reoccurring symptoms though not as serious as full blown episodes can cause discomfort and interfere with daily activities.  This has let mental health pros know something more is needed and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has come to be a standard hand-in-hand with meds for bipolar disorder.

CBT is focused on problem solving.  Having an emphasis on working with the therapist, the patient learns how her/his beliefs and thoughts cause certain reactions to situations or people.  This process also allows the patient to learn tools that may make her/his response more helpful.  The patient is encouraged to set therapeutic goals and the therapy is time limited so the goals can be met in reasonable time according to the patient’s progress.

CBT can help patients with everyday stress through active problem solving.  It can teach patients to keep track of their activities, moods, and thoughts regulating them through work with the therapist. This can help them be ready to manage between-episode symptoms. This therapy is often credited with helping patients feel less depressed and more confident about managing their illness.

Some form of psychosocial therapy is recommended along with medication due to difficulties in everyday life that can creep up and overwhelm a patient. This is because difficulty can be had by patients in everyday life and because there can be episodic recurrences of symptoms that can each cause challenges.  Therapy however should not be used to replace medications.

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Bipolar Disorder


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