Bipolar disorder (BD) involves unstable mood swings, with some experiencing primarily mania, depression, or a mixture of both. Mania often involves feelings of being “on top of the world”, high energy with less needed sleep, and impulsivity as a possible behavioral outcome. Depressive episodes involve feelings of hopelessness and sadness, with potential feelings of extreme fatigue and suicidal thoughts. If you have been diagnosed with BD, you may feel unpredictable at times. Emotion regulation is difficult for many people with BD, as the disorder involves unpredictable shifts in mood, energy, and overall activity levels.

A 2015 study published in the journal Psychiatric Research sought to understand not only how those with BD experience emotion regulation, but also which dimensions of emotion regulation they have difficulty with and how this affects symptoms of their BD. One hundred and four participants were involved in a study, with 52 individuals having been diagnosed with BD, and 52 individuals having been considered as not having a mental illness. After completing questionnaires relating to emotion regulation and general behavior, results indicated that those with BD experience challenges with emotion regulation across many dimensions. For example, one finding was that impulse control in those with BD was linked to hypomania propensity, while poor access to strategies for regulating emotions often led to depressive episodes. Thus, not having the right resources to pull from in regulating emotions can certainly lead to increased severity in symptoms for those with the disorder.

If you’ve been struggling to manage your symptoms, treatment is an excellent option. Treatment will likely involve medication (such as mood stabilizers) and therapy, so that you can gain more clarity while you develop the tools you need to take better control over your disorder. Three types of therapy have proven to be very effective in treating BD: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family-focused therapy, and psychotherapy. CBT helps clients change negative patterns of thinking into more positive and productive habits; family-focused therapy aims to assist individuals in creating a treatment plan to carry out at home; psychotherapy, also known as “talk therapy”, is often done one-on-one and is meant to help a person dive into some key concerns they may have in relation to their disorder.

If you’ve been struggling to manage your symptoms, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today. Recovery is possible.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.

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