What is Bipolar Disorder?
One of the major concerns in mental health is Bipolar Disorder. Despite a lot of medication, there are no permanent remedies for this disorder and hence, many psychiatrists labelled it as a lifelong condition. What happens in bipolar disorder is, there are times when the person’s mood is like a see–saw; one side up, another slide down. The course of ups and downs is an unpredictable course. The more these ups and downs are left untreated, the more devastating it becomes.
A stable, productive life is made difficult with manic and depressive episodes that are seen in bipolar disorder. In the manic phase, the person is hyperactive and irresponsible. In Depressive episode, the person cannot do anything at all. Although, early diagnosis saves from a lot of problems and can be helped easily.
Is Bipolar Same as Depression?
No. Bipolar disorder is commonly misdiagnosed as depression since most people suffering from bipolar meet the therapist or the doctor only in their depressive stage of the illness. In the uptime or manic phase, they do not even recognize the problem. Most of the time, if the person is under depressed state for the longest time, then the diagnosis is confused with depression, which can again be a major problem as treatment and management line for both is different.
Indicators showing that your depression is really Bipolar Disorder:
- You’ve experienced repeated episodes of major depression.
- You had your first episode of major depression before age 25.
- You have a first-degree relative with bipolar disorder.
- When you’re not depressed, your mood and energy levels are higher than most people’s.
- When you’re depressed, you oversleep and overeat.
- Your episodes of major depression are short (less than 3 months).
- You’ve lost contact with reality while depressed.
- You’ve had postpartum depression before.
- You’ve developed mania or hypomania while taking an antidepressant.
- Your antidepressant stopped working after several months.
Use of NLP Tools and Techniques to Deal with Bipolar Disorder:
According to Bandler and Grinder, NLP comprises a methodology termed modeling, plus a set of techniques that they derived from its initial applications. Of such methods that are considered fundamental, they derived much from the work of Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson and Fritz Perls.
There are many tools that are used in NLP to manage a lot of problems and to enhance the self growth. The techniques of NLP are such that it resets the whole neural pathway to change how the life is perceived as. Various stages like developing a rapport, gleaning information about a problem, mental state and desired goals by using specific techniques and tools to make interventions and integrating proposed changes in the client’s life. The entire process is guided by non verbal responses of the client. The first is the act of establishing and maintaining rapport between the practitioner and the client, which is achieved through pacing and leading the verbal (e.g., sensory predicates and keywords) and nonverbal behavior (e.g., matching and mirroring nonverbal behavior, or responding to eye movements) of the client.
Among the various tools that NLP has, storytelling and metaphor are used to produce results in bipolar treatment. Metaphors are use of something abstract where the words cannot complete or give it the whole meaning.
Now, for example, once a client walked in and said ‘I feel lonely and it is as if I am sitting in the room and there is no one around; all I see around me is a dark night and no one else.’ So here, the whole belief system or perception of life for the client, like in this case, the whole life perception is as if he is all alone on a dark night and there will be no day.
So here, the client is given a metaphor, like – ‘What needs to happen in this room that you feel good?’ Then the person says, “From somewhere the light comes”. Then the client is asked to see the light and the metaphor is made to move so that a new metaphor is given to the client, leading them to a new empowering belief system. This is an important work of NLP at different levels of thoughts.
Positive affirmation or energetic NLP thoughts, along with positive metaphors, will shift the energies of the client in the depressive phase and hence, will help to shift the energy of the person. NLP works at a deeper level of thoughts. In quantum physics, it is said that positive thoughts move their energy, whereas, the metaphors are useful to change the way we think and perceive our life.
The techniques used in NLP can help alleviate the symptoms of depression by changing the structure of the person’s thinking and lingual pattern that are creating a neural pathway of negativity and depression. To treat Bipolar disorder, NLP can be a powerful tool when it is combined with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. NLP is a more client centric therapeutic approach. The client is helped to find the resources in their own experience to add to the present state, to reach a desired state with the help of modelling therapy or basic remedial model for change.
The facilitator doing NLP is an active one. It’s the therapist that helps the client identify their desired state, make sure that this state is appropriate or ecological for the client as a whole, and then to identify and apply the internal resource.The complete attempt of the therapist is to build the most effective rapport with the client, so that the client can use a set of techniques identified in the NLP model which are widely applicable to other human communications. In working with the client in this way, the NLP therapist can draw on a broad set of techniques based on the NLP model, which have proved effective in dealing with different forms of limiting present state. Some of these techniques operate at a simple behavioral level, others involve the client in changing limiting beliefs and, thereby opening up more choices.
Whilst considerable time may be taken in working with the client to gain a clear understanding of the present and desired states, the change process is typically brief compared with other types of psychotherapy.
With an ecology between the client and therapist, change work and ecological steps are built into most of the techniques. These changes sought must be truly represented by whole person and not just appropriate to one part, or care less of the potential adverse consequences of change. NLP shares similar core assumptions and foundations in common with some contemporary brief and systemic practices,such as solution focused brief therapy. NLP has also been acknowledged as having influenced these practices with its reframing techniques, which seeks to achieve behavioral change by shifting its context or meaning, for example, by finding the positive connotation of a thought or behavior.
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