Many of the challenges associated with bipolar disorder can be addressed by using a strength-based approach and this method has been proven to work . In this vlog Karl Shallowhorn talks about how to focus on one’s strengths and create a better way of life.
Hi, I’m Karl Shallowhorn with BP magazine’s bphope Vlog. Today I’m going to be talking about what a strength-based approach is and how it applies to bipolar disorder.
You might be asking yourself, “Well, what is a strength-based approach?” Essentially it emphasizes a person’s self-determination and strength and it focuses on the positives and positive outcomes.
So let’s personalize this. Say for instance you have a manic-depressive episode and you are currently experiencing depression. What do you do? Well first of all think about what’s worked for you in the past. Has it been certain medications? Has it been a therapist or psychiatrist? Has it been other things you can focus on, say like, support groups or social connections, for instance. These things are huge because we find that isolating can be a really big problem when it comes to dealing with depression. Now also there can also be things like exercise. That also can be important too.
For instance for myself, I’ve learned a lot of things. One big thing I’ve learned is the idea of insight. Insight, is essentially knowing what makes you tick. What works for you. And we know what works for one person may not work for another.
Also, we know that these things take time when we talk about recovery. And that can be so frustrating because we want our recovery now. We want to be well. But if you understand that by focusing on your strengths you can get better one day at a time.
My own personal experience has shown that it takes time to bounce back but I’m also more capable than I think I am. I have been able to do some things in my life that when I was ill I was able to discover really how to push myself out of my comfort zone and go forward and move forward. And slowly but surely things did get better.
And then you can never underestimate the value of peer support like I said before. Being able to talk to someone who’s had that same experience as you can be really invaluable in terms of giving you the motivation to move forward.
So another thing to consider is that we all have strengths. We all have something we’re good at. So you have to find out what works for you. By doing that it can make a big difference.
Also another thing you want to consider is that we’ve all been through a lot. We’ve all had difficult experiences; some more than others. But the reality is that no matter how bad things get you can get well. Trust me. I’ve been in places and in situations where I thought I never could recover and I never thought it could get better but it did. Trust me, I had to learn what my strengths were and how I could use those things to get me to a better place.
So, I hope this is helpful. What are your strengths? What are some of the things that have helped you? Please feel free to leave a comment below.
For BP magazine’s bphope Vlog, I’m Karl Shallowhorn. Be well.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community