over-coming Bi-Polar

I have bipolar disorder. could there be a chance i could be overcoming it? I mean i seem to be happy all the time now. Can you please tell me if i've overcome this mental disease?

Ben's Answer:

It's not possible for me to tell you if you've overcome this. The mainstream view of Bipolar Disorder is that it is a chronic condition that does not ever go away and the best you can do is to manage your symptoms and keep it from worsening by taking medications indefinitely.

However there is a whole different view of mental illness that you could call the "Recovery Model" of mental illness - that says you can get well, and even eliminate you need for medication.

These two views are radically opposed to one another.

The important thing here is to not be in denial. The fact is, some people with classic Bipolar Disorder, can experience an episode of mania or hypomania that resolves and does not occur again for months or even several years. So just because you are happy and stable for a while, does not mean that you couldn't develop symptoms again. Being in therapy is one of the best ways to stay well, for several reasons: You will gain self-awareness and insight, you will decrease stress; and your therapist will come to know you and be able to see any mood changes in you - maybe even before you notice them yourself. This can allow you to take action to stay balanced, BEFORE another serious episode occurs (if you know what actions to take).

Another very valuable practice is the use of Meridian Tapping/EFT - daily if possible, just to keep yourself clear, and release stress or issues that come up day to day.

Another possibility is that you don't actually have Bipolar disorder and were misdiagnosed. I've seen people who have had one psychotic episode in their 20's and then not again until their 50's.

With Bipolar Disorder it would be extremely rare and unusual for it to completely disappear unless you were using some consistent, effective means of healing yourself - through a variety of methods (nutritional, energetic, exercise, therapy, etc).

So, be cautious and don't neglect to have a good safety net for yourself.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT

Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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