‘Bipolar’ mood swings ‘predictable’

According to research by the Manchester School of Psychological Research, individuals who believed that their moods were out of their control developed more problems later, while others who believed that their reactions were a a reaction to stress, or believed they could manage their mood, did better.

These findings are encouraging for talking therapies — such as CBT — that aim to help patients to talk about their moods and change their thinking about them.

While it’s useful to have this confirmed by the research, I have to wonder if psychologists ever actually listen to the people they are supposedly treating.

From my own experience it’s obvious that the only way to effectively deal with depression is to deal with it internally – either by accepting that there are very real external causes for your feelings and that your response to these causes is a right and valid reaction, or by realising that your internal response to external issues is inaccurate or invalid.

One of the issues in that I’ve seen is that there seems to be a widespread feeling that if a person reacts strongly to a situation or circumstance that this is automatically ‘bad’. We’re all supposed to be un-emotionless Vulcans, operating by pure logic, never getting excited or raising our voices. People shy away from strong emotions and reactions as though the feelings themselves are somehow invalid, regardless of the actual circumstances.

In reality, the only way to step back from those responses is to not care. If you care about something, it becomes important to you. When that gets knocked or trampled upon, you react strongly. It’s a natural response. People who react strongly to situations do so because they care strongly.

Everyone can take responsibility for their thoughts, feelings and actions. When you do you automatically improve the potential for a better future outcome. When you don’t and believe that you have no control over things, you shut out the possibility of dealing with any issues – which is never a solution.

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