Relationships: One of the benefits of relationships is that they tend to bring to the surface any underlying unresolved emotional issues, particularly those related to your family of origin. This makes relationships potentially as challenging as they are rewarding. My view on these challenges is that they are opportunities to resolve issues that may have otherwise gone unchecked, but still operating beneath the surface.
Emotional and physical trauma: Trauma can be defined as any experience in which a person felt like something bad was happening but had no power to stop it. These traumas may be large or small. Emotional trauma can result from a multitude of situations, anything from a physical or sexual assault to bullying, or neglect by a parent. There is no expiration date on these wounds and many people tend to downplay the effects based on the amount of time that has passed, yet if there is pain leftover, the wound is still active and worthy of addressing. Trauma is a process that effects the mind and the body. Treating trauma involves addressing symptoms occurring in both of these domains.
Bipolar: I conceptualize Bipolar as a temperament rather than a disorder. What I have witnessed with this “disorder” is that the individual is channeling a great deal of energy that has been poorly managed from an early age. When I say poorly managed I mean that our culture tends to pathologize what it does not understand. When a child presents with this level of energy, no one knows what to do. Because the child won’t conform to expected behavior for children they are often forced into situations that don’t fit, or medicated. It is very easy for a person of bipolar temperament to become emotionally wounded and so these wounds begin to shape behavior and the bipolar person’s impression of themselves. If a person with this temperament can learn to manage the energy using healthy practices, and also come up with a new story for the bipolar, there is significantly less need to for medication. That being said, I do not advise reducing current medications without the supervision of an appropriate professional. Psychotropic medications do alter the body’s chemistry in significant ways, it’s important to respect the delicacy of the nervous system.