Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D.

Bi Polar Mood Disorder 
 

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Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D. MFT  
PsychotherapyHELP  
818-882-7404  

phannigphd@att.net  


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verified by Psychology Today

Bi Polar Mood Disorder: A Profile

Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D., MFCC

 

An Overview of the Illness

 

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a mental illness involving episodes of serious mania and depression. These episodes swing from overly “high” and irritable (manic) to sad and hopeless (depression) and then back again, with periods of normal moods in between. Bipolar disorder typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life. It is often not recognized as an illness, and people who have it may suffer needlessly for year or even decades. Medication is sometimes necessary to help stabilize the varying mood swings.

 

By the very nature of extreme polar opposite vacillations, the person with bipolar disorder creates an interpersonal world of chaos. To the family members trying to relate to the energy extremes of a person with bipolar disorder, it can be described as a personal nightmare. The exceptions to this are the milder forms of this disorder, where the client can successfully camouflage the symptoms by erecting a pleasing facade. Because of the latter, only the afflicted person is aware of the discomfort. Intimate partners may only be slightly aware of the energy and mood swings.

 

Narcissistic over-involvement with the self may make the polar person insensitive and unresponsive to the needs of others. All attention is centered around the excessive ruminations of the bipolar person's struggle with others. Because of excessive self-concern and histrionic attention seeking behavior, significant others may experience their own loss of self. This sacrifice of a partner's self into assuming a parental position may actually cause alienation and encourage masochistic survival defenses.

 

Self-Destructive in Relationships

 

A person who is used to emotionally hiding as a survival defense is particularly suited for forming a complimentary love killing relationship with a bipolar person. This self-sacrificing, self-defeating submissiveness of the partner activates resentment towards the bipolar person's controlling behavior. Weakness and powerlessness are the result of the failure to stand up and assert oneself in the face of the bipolar person's constant self-talking (manic phases) and energy drains (depressed stages).

 

The bipolar's hypersensitivity to being hurt coupled with paranoia makes a self-defeating partner feel guilty for expressing any displeasure with the bipolar person's destructive behavior and mood swings. The partner's loss of self actually reinforces the bipolar’s maladaptive responses. Thus, they find themselves in a never-ending cycle of ups and downs. This dance of non-intimacy provides a very unstable family situation that teeters on dissolution. The bipolar person is constantly engaged in a desperate, frantic attempt to reclaim a lost self, while the self-defeating partner loses whatever sense of self there is.

 

Bipolar Mood Disorder is a debilitating and destructive disorder. However, it can be minimized with therapy. If you or someone you know displays some of the above characteristics, please seek qualified professional help.

 

Psychotherapy with Dr. Paul is available through Telephone or Online Therapy for those who cannot find a trained therapist in their area. Paul Hannig, Ph.D., MFCC is a licensed psychotherapist in California and can be reached at 818-882-7404 or phannigphd@socal.rr.com  To purchase the full text version of this article, go to the Best Sellers section on the web site. 






PsychotherapyHELP Home  |  Dr. Paul Hannig  |  Hypnosis: Beyond Therapy  |  Teletherapy: Telephone & Skype Video Sessions  |  E-Therapy  |  Deep Feeling Therapy  |  Music in Therapy  |  Separation Counseling  |  The Love Program  |  Ecstatic Meditations  |  Power of Prayer/Psycho-Spiritual Therapy  |  ONLINE STORE: Manuals, Books & E-Books  |  ONLINE STORE: Media Programs  |  Mail Order Form  |  Mood, Anxiety, & Personality Disorders  |  Feeling Therapy Articles  |  FREE Articles  |  FREE Manual Excerpts  |  Newsletters  |  Online Tests  |  Web Links  |  Addictions  |  Soulmates from Hell  |  Soul Mating  |  Managing Your Anger - NEW!  |  Depression  |  Secrets of Success  |  Dealing with Time Bandits  |  Reinvent Yourself!  |  Catching Yourself  |  Married People - Unmarried Minds  |  The Power to Convince  |  Daily Thoughts  |  People Are Saying...  |  Subscribe to our Mailing List!  |  Initial Intake Form  |  Therapy Guidelines & Confidentiality  |  Contact Us!

Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D MFT w PsychotherapyHELP

Chatsworth, CA 91311 w 818.882.7404 w phannigphd@att.net


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