Recovery from Bipolar Disorder

In simple terms, depression is driven by our disturbing beliefs that we must do what we also believe we cannot do, until for many people it can disturb the serotonin level in their brains. After the structured, brief psychotherapy many patients no longer need psychotropic medications because once their depression is resolved long-term, the manic phase of their bipolar disorder usually ends. In the DSMIV it lists spirituality, undefined, as a principal treatment for alcoholism. This affect is often seen in patients after treatment by the methods in Five Gates.

For some patients receiving this therapy their need for psychotropic medications continues even after successful treatment but often in smaller doses with fewer side-effects.

Bipolar Disorder is a special adjustment to mono-polar depression. The progression is typically as follows; When a person is anxiety ridden for a long time without relief, it often leads to depression. Without effective relief they may become morbidly depressed. Some patients become bipolar as a coping method. There are three typical adjustments that a depressed person will typically make. Without effective treatment he may sink into deeper and deeper depression, and even become suicidal; or they may medicate themselves with one of the SSRI?s such as Prozac, or as a coping mechanism their psychological systems may reflexably try to pull them out of their feelings of hopelessness with reassuring ideas about themselves or their future. This third case occurs when the depth of their depression is so great it takes unrealistically grand ideas to bring relief; this pattern will likely trigger in them a bipolar reaction. Trying to cheer ourselves up is a normal reaction to being moderately down, but in this case it becomes out of control. The feelings of helplessness are only relieved with essentially what amounts to “severe self-deception,” such as people who ideate that they are a famous character from history; e.g. Napoleon, Julius Caesar, etc.

This illness can happen in very accomplished people. One example was a former state chess champion. Despite this accomplishment he felt very inadequate about his life because his father had been a very successful businessman and he expected this of himself, but could not achieve this. When he would sink into a deep depression he would snap himself out of it by his lying to himself that he would create a huge national string of teaching chess centers. He was hardly equipped for doing this but the effect was to temporarily pull him out of his deep depression. The problem with this form of self-cheering himself up is that in order to keep fighting his depression was that he had to keep making the story of what he was going to grow grander and grander until like popping an inflated balloon with a pin, he saw that it was all self-deception. At that point, he would sink into a far deeper and suicidal depression and need to be hospitalized. He was taking lithium to deaden his mood but for him its side effects were horrible and he rather be depressed than feel like a dead vegetable. That’s when this cycle would start again; his moods would go down, then sharply up using self-lies, and finally crash when he had to accept his ideas were unrealistic. It was during this third severe down period he eventually took his life. He was about 40 years old.

The secret is to help a patient come down from his frantic high without lapsing into severe depression. SSRI drugs can do this for many patients today, but will not repair the underlying cause of their depressions and for most patients it does not provide a stable happy mood balance but produces only a chemically induced compromise between their moods being up or down. For this reason many patients refuse their medications causing the cycle to restart.

This idea is further illustrated by the case of a woman self-admitting to a psychiatric hospital during her manic cycle. This is very unusual; most patients enjoy the relief of the “high “of being manic, then are hospitalized when their mood crashes and they are severely depressed. The normal treatment regamin in such situations is to treat the manic phase with depressants. This has proven to prolong the required hospital stay because their real illness is clinical depression. The attending physician instead administered anti-depressants while the patient was still manic. The result was to immediately cause the patient’s manic phase to end without the usual crash into severe depression

Effective psychotherapy to treat depression, especially for bipolar patients is usually too slow acting, requiring in some cases, years. By that time the patient usually experiences the agony of repeated bipolar cycles and will abandon psychotherapy as not working for them. This is the reason the brief time-limited psychotherapy is uniquely effective for such patients. The problem is that the skills required for physicians to administer it in the traditional form are very difficult to master. The structured time limited psychotherapy may prove to be the answer in that it can be mastered in an orderly progression of learned techniques. Author: Lynn Kesselman

Scholarly Articles that have helped many in understanding the root cause of problems and how can it be treated and healed. Find out more

  1. Anxiety – Causes, Effect, Treatment and Recovery
  2. Low Self Esteem – Causes, Effect, Treatment and Recovery
  3. Bipolar Disorder – Causes, Effect, Treatment and Recovery

Author: Rabbi Dr. Kesselman began his career in psychotherapy as the result of his own severe depressive disorder occasioned by alcoholism as a coping mechanism. He is partly self-taught, his degrees having been awarded through the original contributions he has made to this field. He is the developer of ” The Structured Brief Time-Limited Psychotherapy”, better known as the Five Gates Program of Recovery. He is the author of “Recover With Me,” and ” Five Gates, The Science of Healing the Spirit.” He is the founder of the Kesselman Foundation, New Hope village, where he developed his unique psychotherapy program, Recovery Management Service Co. Inc., a public not-for-profit organization.

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