*Now available online via Skype: see below*
“… despite how bipolar disorder may leave one feeling, there is realistic and attainable hope for balance, positivity, health and meaningful living.”
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with bipolar disorder? Struggling with uncontrollable mood fluctuations, unpredictable energy levels and unpleasant medication side effects? Treatment options failing you?
Bipolar is a complex disorder. The medical model offers some assistance with various medications, but it often falls short of providing lasting relief. In order to survive and thrive in daily life, it is essential that a treatment is integrative and holistic, taking the entire person and their unique story, symptoms, strengths, needs and desires into account.
Through research, personal experience and the experience of my clients, I help people establish and maintain healthy, positive lifestyles, manage symptoms and concerns as well as facilitate a deeper knowledge of the Self.
Lifestyle factors are far more important, some might even say life-and-death-important than they are often given credit for. Diet, exercise, sleep, mindset, relationships, daily structure and relationships are some examples of lifestyle factors that influence the progression of the disorder and maintenance of wellness. I help suggest and structure these factors and together we forge a plan that makes sense for each individual’s unique and evolving circumstance.
In my experience, practical and experienced, empathic assistance is essential for establishing and helping maintain positive lifestyle factors, managing symptoms and medical/non-medical treatment options, providing accountability, reality-checking and validation.
You can discover meaning, transformation and different perspectives, behaviour change and a sense of your connectedness to a larger pattern or story. You can rediscover ownership of your experiences, your life narrative and the direction you choose to go. You can find hope and confidence for facing the future, or even the present.
Bipolar disorder is associated with a relatively high prevalence of suicide and should be taken very seriously. Besides the risk of suicide, the impact that various mood states can have on an individual’s relationships, commitments and self-worth may also be devastating. However, in spite of, or perhaps because of extreme mood states, individual’s who actively engage with their symptoms have an unusually great opportunity for self-mastery, connection, creativity, awareness and self-knowledge, which in turn radiate outward in relationships and affect the world in positive ripples.
The message is this: despite how bipolar disorder may leave one feeling, there is realistic and attainable hope for balance, positivity, health and meaningful living. Accessing this knowledge is admittedly extremely difficult at times and experienced, empathic support can be invaluable to gaining greater traction on one’s life or maintaining wellness.
There is hope. This can be hard to accept, but accountability, a non-judgemental ear, heart and mind, and someone who wants (and is able to) to journey with you into the darkest and brightest spaces the Bipolar brings is truly essential if one wishes to stay well or become well with Bipolar Disorder. Any teens or adults can engage in this process, no matter the current mood state.
For more information on Bipolar Support and Therapy, please click here. **These sessions are available online via Skype for those who are not in Cape Town. You can sign up for sessions as long as you have wifi and a device with a camera and audio.
Melissa Ellse – HPCSA Registered Arts (Music) Therapist