Can Hypnosis be used for Bipolar Disorder?

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In this blog, we will explore hypnosis for bipolar disorder, and also discuss topics like what is hypnosis, what is bipolar disorder, types of bipolar disorder,  and answer frequently asked questions. 

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Can Hypnosis be used for Bipolar Disorder?

Yes, hypnosis can be used for the treatment of bipolar disorder. The person suffering from bipolar disorder can be put into a deep relaxation or trance state and then their symptoms of bipolar disorder can be explored on a deeper level and analyzed thoroughly.

Hypnosis helps people with bipolar disorder to reduce their stress level, focus on the positive aspects of their life, and help them calm down as going through cyclical manic and depressive episodes can get extremely daunting. 

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis can be defined as a state of trance during which a person can experience a better concentration level, an enhanced ability to respond to suggestions, and feel relaxed. 

Hypnosis is also called hypnotic suggestion, hypnotherapy, etc. 

Hypnosis is usually practiced by people with certification and rigorous training in using verbal suggestions and guiding a person through their issues in hypnotherapy sessions. 

What is a Bipolar Disorder?

A bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings. An individual who is suffering from this disorder can be energetic and elated one minute and with the blink of an eye, he might be going through depressive cycles. 

The state of being emotionally gleeful, hyperactive, or at times aggressive is known as mania or hypomania. The low phase of being depressed causes fatigue as well as indecisiveness. Bipolar symptoms may also occur with the change of seasons and during pregnancy as well. 

Mood swings happen with everyone but when they acquire an extreme form in bipolar disorder. A person needs to consult a mental health specialist in such cases. Neglecting mental illness can take a toll on one’s physical health as well. These episodes of emotional highs and lows might last for weeks or even months. 

There are two types of Bipolar disorders; Bipolar I and Bipolar II. In such disorders, the attention of the patient should have deviated from drugs and other intoxicants and he must be motivated to do medication as directed and undergo the therapy as and when required.

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a state of mental health that causes severe mood swings that include emotional arousal (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).

Bipolar I Disorder

Defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are extremely critical and need urgent medical assessment. 

Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. There is an alteration-like pattern between the manic and depressive episodes. 

A manic and hypomanic episode includes three or more of the following symptoms:

  • Abnormally optimistic, nervous, or wired
  • Increased activity, intensity, or disturbance
  • Excessive feeling of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)
  • Reduce the need for sleep
  • Great conversation
  • Racing ideas
  • protection
  • Bad decisions – such as continuing to shop for hobbies, sexual risk, or stupid investments

Bipolar II Disorder

Bipolar II disorder can be characterized by hypomanic episodes followed by longer depressive episodes.

The hypomanic episodes are not as full-blown as manic episodes but these can also be dangerous for a person’s well-being

Cyclothymic Disorder (also called Cyclothymia)

Includes hypomanic symptoms as well as phases of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). 

However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.

Causes of Bipolar Disorder

The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, but several factors may be involved, such as:

  • Biological differences. People with bipolar disorder seem to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is uncertain, but it can help identify the causes.
  • Genetics. It is more common in people who have a first-degree relative, such as a sibling or a parent who has this condition. Researchers are trying to find the exact genes that may be involved in the cause of bipolar disorder.

Hypnotherapy and Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorders are said to have no cure but it has been claimed that they can be controlled with an effective combination of therapy and mood stabilizers. 

One of the most common therapies for this disorder is hypnotherapy. Many people tend to believe that hypnosis and hypnotherapy mean the same thing, which is not true. Both complement each other but that does not mean they have the same meaning. 

On one hand, hypnotherapy is a type of therapy whereas the state of mental relaxation that the person acquires as a result of the therapy is hypnosis.

This therapy aims at reducing the stress level of the client thereby enabling them to have a better focus and at the same time acquire a positive outlook in life. 

Hypnotherapy technique plays a major role in performing this therapy. It is of utmost necessity that a hypnosis practitioner must be well aware of which technique of hypnosis can and cannot be used with a client having bipolar disorder.

Hence, it is of prime importance to make sure that the therapist you are referring to is skilled in the respective field and has the proper qualifications to perform the therapy. 

One should also make sure that the client feels comfortable with the therapist and is able to make a personal connection with him, else the therapy might not be very impactful. 

This therapy diverts the concentration of the individual away from whatever is happening around him, thereby allowing him to develop a certain level of concentration.

How does hypnosis help in psychotherapy?

Hypnosis also aids in psychotherapy because the level of focus that the client develops through the process enables the therapist to delve deeper into his thoughts in an attempt to find the cause of this disorder which could be a trauma suffered in the past, excessive grief over a particular occurrence or any such thing. 

It is possible for the therapists to do so because hypnosis creates apparent mental imagery that might or might not be reproducible. Once the cause is traced, it can be addressed to the patient under certain circumstances which might help him to relax his emotions and remove his thoughts from that specific memory or painful occurrence. 

It helps in identifying the signs that trigger the patients. With the due course of time, the patient is able to react appropriately to these signals thereby helping him develop a sense of balance.

Techniques used during hypnotherapy for bipolar disorder

During the process, techniques are used which enable the patient to connect with his conscience and achieve a sense of confidence and self-awareness. The visualization techniques used during this process help the patient to have control over his emotional impulse. Deep breathing is also exercised during this procedure. 

It facilitates the process of building a connection with the conscious and subconscious mind to develop a deeper sense of relation. If hypnotherapy is done in the right way, it is said to have a long-lasting effect as seen in a large number of patients. 

Consistency is the key which certainly helps in lowering the severity of the disorder to a great extent. It is to be noted that the therapist cannot make you do something against your will just as a consequence of this therapy. 

In vivid terms, he cannot brainwash you. A person who is paranoid might not be ready to believe this and be hesitant to go for this therapy. It is advisable for him to take his own time and then go for therapy till he develops a sense of trust in the therapist.

Do’s and Don’ts related to hypnosis in sessions

On average, four sessions of therapy seem to be effective but this might not be the case with everyone as it depends upon the severity of the disorder. The client must not go ahead with the therapy if he has a skeptical or apprehensive attitude towards it. 

It will ruin the purpose of the therapy. Once he is open to changes and there is no tussle in his mind regarding the therapy, he can proceed. It is only then, that he will be able to settle his thoughts and find solace in that relaxing environment of hypnosis which will gradually help him to develop healthy control over his life.

There have not been any concrete side effects of this therapy yet but certain short-lived side effects that can be experienced are dizziness, anxiousness, or maybe a headache. It must be made sure to recognize any other mental illness, if any, from which the client is suffering. If not done, it might have severe adverse effects on the patients. 

There are certain minor points that must be kept in mind before going for your hypnotherapy appointment. The client must wear comfortable clothes in which he feels free and non-restricted and he should not be exhausted. 

In case he is already tired, it might cause him to fall asleep during the therapy thereby not fulfilling the purpose. Hypnosis is considered a safe therapy as long as it is being done by a professional (a licensed hypnotherapist).

Conclusion

We explored the practice of hypnosis and understood various aspects of bipolar disorder like its symptoms, types, etc. One thing we should take from this blog is that not everything works for everyone. Some people might benefit from hypnosis while others might not. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can Hypnosis be used for Bipolar Disorder?

Does hypnosis work for bipolar disorder? 

Bipolar disorders are said to have no cure but it has been claimed that they can be controlled with an effective combination of therapy and mood stabilizers. One of the most common therapies for this disorder is hypnotherapy. Many people tend to believe that hypnosis and hypnotherapy mean the same thing, which is not true. Both complement each other but that does not mean they have the same meaning. 

Who shouldn’t do hypnosis? 

Check to see if someone you’re thinking about hiring as your hypnotherapist has a hypnotherapy license or is a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. 

Hypnosis can be risky for persons who suffer from major mental illnesses, such as hallucinations. Delusions.

Can you mentally control bipolar? 

Yes, self help practices and a change in lifestyle can help control and handle bipolar disorder. 

What type of therapy is hypnosis? 

Hypnotherapy or hypnosis is a type of nonstandard or “complementary and alternative medicine” treatment. 

Can hypnosis change your personality? 

No, hypnosis cannot change or alter a person’s personality.  

Does bipolar worsen with age?

Yes, bipolar disorder may worsen with age if only it is left untreated.

References

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder
https://www.verywellmind.com/bipolar-disorder-overview-378810
https://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-1-vs-bipolar-2

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