how to get over bipolar depression (a Adlerian point of view)

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

What is Bipolar depression? (manic depressive disorder)

Bipolar depression is a type of depression characterized by severe mood swings. A person who has bipolar disorder experiences phases of extreme happiness (Mania) followed by phases of sadness and depression.

As usual most people who write about psychological disorders said the same thing when it came to bipolar depression:

Causes: Unknown or imbalance in brain chemicals
Contributing factors: Unknown but genetics and stress seem to be contributing factors. Treatment: we are not sure but we suggest mood stabilizing drugs.

Depression happens when the brain chemicals change but the important question many people fail to ask themselves is: What caused that change in the first place?

When your car runs out of fuel it will give you a signal in order to notify you about this problem. Now would it be wise to say that this signal appeared because something changed in the car's electrical system?

Yes the electrical system changed but not on its own, it happened because the car was out of fuel and that's the main problem you should be dealing with.

This is the same exact mistake as saying that the change in brain chemicals is the cause of bipolar depression. Bipolar depression can be nothing more than a sign that you are already sad and unhappy and that your brain is trying to distract you every now and then by sending you a positive mood (the manic state).

What really causes bipolar depression (a Adlerian point of view)

In my previous articles i defined real happiness as the ability to fulfill your most important psychological needs in life. (see also The path to happiness). Now what happens when a person finds himself unable to fulfill his most important needs is that he gets depressed.

But in order for depression to occur another factor might be present which is loss of hope in fulfilling these needs. (see also Understanding depression from a different angle)

Now because many people feel that they become unworthy when they believe that they didn't manage to reach their important goals in life an escapement mechanism needs to be developed by the mind in order to help them protect their egos.

In other words the people with bipolar disorder are normally depressed people who didn't manage to understand their psychological needs and so didn't manage to fulfill them. In the same time those people want to feel good about themselves and that's why their minds develop this disorder in order to help them cope.

In such a case their minds interfere by distracting them with phases of extreme happiness accompanied by feelings of exaggerated importance.(see also How people escape from reality)

Why do people with bipolar depression get hallucinations

People with bipolar depression sometime experience hallucinations where they see things and hear sounds. Many of these hallucinations revolve around one point which is making those people feel important. In some of these hallucinations people see themselves as heroes, celebrities or even God's.

Didn't that ring a bell yet?
The minds of those people are trying to help them regain their self worth once again by making them feel important. Because those people believe that they are incompetent their minds rush to help them by making them feel extremely important.(see also Why do we fantasize and day dream)

In the Solid Self confidence program i said that distraction is one of the most popular methods the mind uses in order to make the person feel good about himself. If your mind found you unable to feel worthy on your own then it might distract you with anything just to help you feel good once again.

Just like most disorders all of these things happen in the background without the attention of the conscious mind, that's why a person with a bipolar disorder might deny that he has a self esteem problem. This happens because his mind managed to distract him perfectly in such a way that he didn't notice the main problem. (see also How the subconscious mind works)

How to get over bipolar depression

So how can you get over bipolar depression?

  • 1) Understand your basic needs: Find out your most important psychological needs especially the ones that seem impossible to satisfy. Those needs are the key to understanding your depression (see Unmet needs psychology)
  • 2) Be brave: Be brave enough to admit that you cooperated with your mind to hide some facts from your conscious mind. This is the hardest part and the most important step. Once you realize that you were distracting yourself you will be able to heal (see Why do some people refuse to accept reality)
  • 3) Full fill those needs: Writ a plan to fulfill those important needs you gave up on earlier. Learn how to regain back the lost hope and try to develop a positive attitude that allows you to believe that you can reach those important goals (see How to realize your dreams)

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