Week 4 Handouts

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depression and mixed episodes page 1

Symptoms of Depression and Mixed Episodes – page 1

Depression and Mixed Episodes page 2

Symptoms of Depression and Mixed Episodes – page 2

week 4 homework

Homework!

 

I do that too! #1

One of the best things about this psychoeducation group is the GROUP part.  Ever find yourself awake at 3am, thinking it’s a good idea to get out the vacuum?  Or found that pile of papers you have walked past for 3 months suddenly needs to be organized and thrown out, NOW?

Perhaps other than upsetting your neighbors by mowing the lawn at 5am on Saturday morning, you haven’t really told anyone.   But we’ve all been there.  It can be quite enlightening to know it’s not just you.

I’ll share more of these as we go along.  It’s not just you.

Week 3 Handouts

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week 3 handout page 1

Symptoms of Mania and Hypomania page 1

week 3 handouts page 2

Symptoms of Mania and Hypomania page 2

Homework!

Homework!

 

 

Biopsychosocial vulnerability

(revisited after asking questions in session 3)

Biopsychosocial Vulnerability.  That’s a mouthful.  From what I can gather, we’re talking about three things coming together for the ‘perfect storm’ onset of Bipolar.

contributing factors to bipolar

Biological factors (aka genetics) is really the keystone here.  If you don’t have the genetic component, the other two don’t matter, but if you do, they play their own role in what prompts the first episode.  Those other two factors also matter when it comes to how well you can cope with stress.  While there’s good stress and bad stress in the sense that you can get a promotion at your job or land a big client, as well as the stress of moving house or a bereavement.   You may swing up or down respectively from those stressors.

I’m leaving this here anyway, as I still think that there is something to the theory that you are more vulnerable to triggers because you can’t cope with stress as well as someone else with the same condition.

I’m also including the a full page they referenced as the model for this concept.  You can see this come up in research about schizophrenia and bipolar.

biopsychosocial vulnerability poster

The blue poster

The CBT vicious circle

cognitive behavioral therapy vicious circle diagram

The CBT “vicious circle”

This is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) vicious circle.  The gist of it is that all of these things reinforce each other.  So when you’re down, you start thinking negative reinforcing thoughts, like, “everyone hates me,” and you don’t socialize so you feel more tired and depressed and that causes more thoughts, etc.

This works for mania and hypomania, too.  Instead of thinking negative things, you’re giving yourself the positive affirmation of “I am awesome at everything!” and not sleeping, taking on too many tasks, and all the rest.

What I found interesting is that psychiatry tends to intervene with medication on the physical point, while CBT tries to intervene on both the thinking and behavior sections.  It’s all about breaking the chain.  Being aware of it is the first step.

“Knowing is half the battle!”  – G.I. Joe

We’re in this together

This week we had two visitors, both from the original trial Bipolar Psychoeducation group run in 2009.  While their histories were different, they both spoke about how much the group had changed their lives.

Apparently their group is still meeting up on their own, years later.  They wanted us to start thinking about how things would end and what we might want to do.

I have been surprised by how much it helps to have other people who have the same issues talking about it, as they provide insights and experiences that I would not have found on my own. It definitely helps to not feel so isolated and alone.  And a few of them are seriously funny.

They seem to believe that this information is best presented in a group setting so that you have other people who have similar experiences that you can share with.  While I can see the value in it, I think that sharing the information is important for those who cannot get this kind of help and support.

Week 2 Handouts

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bipolar causes and triggers page 1

Causes and Triggers of Bipolar page 1

Causes and Triggers of Bipolar page 2

Causes and Triggers of Bipolar page 2

week 2 homework

Homework!

 

homework for week 2

Homework (continued)!

 

Week 1 Handouts

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bpweek1a

Session 1, Intro to the group

bpweek1b

Session 1, What is Bipolar Disorder?

bpweek1c

Session 1, Role of the family and carer

Homework!

Homework!