Most people who struggle with affective disorders will need medication as part of an overall treatment plan. Unfortunately, therapy often falls by the wayside, because it may not seem like it matters with affective disorders. Therapy is just another component in an effective strategy to make affective disorders more manageable.
1. Better Understand Yourself
Although many affective disorders are caused by biochemical imbalances within the brain, it does not mean there are not situations from your past or in your current life that can exacerbate the problem. It is easy to brush-off events in your life and feel like they do not impact your disorder, or there may be events that you vaguely remember that resurface during therapy.
One of your therapist's goals is to determine which factors in your life might contribute to your mood and help you address them head-on. For example, it is not uncommon for strained family relationships, issues during childhood, or current instability in your life to make a mood disorder harder to treat or exacerbate mood fluctuations, especially in people with bipolar disorder.
2. Addressing Concurrent Symptoms
There may be other issues that occur along with a mood disorder, such as anxiety, that also needs to be addressed by a therapist. Many people may not realize that symptoms of anxiety frequently overlap with depression or occur as a separate disorder along with depression. Additionally, people with bipolar disorder, specifically those with mixed mood states, are especially prone to anxiety.
Your therapist may want you to engage in different treatment approaches to manage anxiety and symptoms that frequently occur with anxiety, such as insomnia, hypervigilance, and physical ailments. In addition to psychotherapy, your therapist may want you to engage in cognitive-behavioral therapy to help you manage feelings of anxiety and learn better thought processes that do not encourage more anxiety.
3. Develop Long-Term Goals
It is difficult to develop long-term goals when you feel crushed under an erratic mood, especially if you frequently experience depression. One of the many benefits of therapy is having someone available to help you sort through your current situation and start planning for the future. Elements of your current situation may warrant a change to not only help you feel better but to also come up with a plan for improvement. When your mood is more stable, it is often easier to work with your therapist to devise a plan for moving, changing careers, or to pursue other realistic goals that can make you feel less hopeless about your life and future.
Beyond medication, therapy is an important part of managing affective disorders. Although you may feel like therapy is unnecessary, you might be surprised at the profound effect therapy can have on affective disorders. For more information, contact a company like The Center for Family Counseling, Inc.Share
8 September 2018
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