I had intended to do more research on cognitive therapy, but then I read Gianna's comment and decided not to. (Again, I'm providing a link to the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, so please feel free to make your own decision on this. A last minute comment by Jane Doe suggests that this was the best therapy she's ever done.)
What Gianna from Bipolar Blast said truly resonated with me so here goes...
"I've attempted to give various forms of CBT/DBT a chance and find it invariably insulting. I find the practitioners condescending and the books patronizing.I couldn't agree more. I spent years trying to find someone--anyone--specializing in bipolar disorder who truly is a healer. But, no one believes we can get well. And when I did find a doctor who provided hope (she specialized in Integrative Medicine) once a depression hit, I found her to be as ineffective as everyone else.
As ariadnek said---judgmental hogwash.
Personally I like the idea of taking responsibility for my psyche, but I do that by accepting myself, not forcing myself to think differently.
You know Susan, the mental health system strips us of our self-esteem because most of the people practicing don't believe we can be whole, functioning individuals who can recover. I say bulls%^& to that. It's taken years and I'm still trying to shake the self stigmatization but it is bull. If we were approached with the good faith that we are not hopeless and that we can recover we would be much better off.
I'm blessed to have everyone in my life believing that about me now, but much damage has been done."
As I've said before, if you go to a heart doctor and have a heart attack, they treat you. If you go to a diabetes specialist and your blood sugar spirals out of control, they help you lower it. But when you go to a psychiatrist and have a severe depressive episode, they're willing to hospitalize you (in a lock down psychiatric ward, which anyone with normal intelligence might agree isn't the most uplifting atmosphere), but other than that, they throw some medicine at you and you're supposed to go home and try to survive.
The lack of support is truly chilling. The lack of insight into this illness is inexcusable. And the treatment protocols are so ineffective that 50 percent of the bipolar population tries to commit suicide and 20 percent is effective in doing so.
While I try to write this blog about wellness because there is so little hope anywhere, deep down I'm outraged and believe that everyone who's bipolar should be as well! I only wish there was one consumer organization who didn't wave the mental illness banner, didn't accept funding from pharmaceutical companies, and spoke out loud and clear about a Bipolar Wellness Program. I'm only sorry I can't be the one to lead it. (Having survived more than 120 depressive episodes has taken its toll.)
P.S. I'd like to acknowledge that today would have been my mother's 86th birthday. Mama, while you may no longer be here physically, I love you dearly!