Hi Everyone, How are you? Hope all is well. Lots to come from me over the next couple of weeks. Lots of ideas and drafts ready to be written. For now though with this post, I will be covering the topic of using Meditation for Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia. Both are in ways similar to each other although Schizophrenia is generally perceived to be the more severe condition. In today’s post, I will be discussing how Meditation can help relieve symptoms of both conditions.
Meditation for Bipolar Disorder
So Bipolarity Disorder or BPD is a condition that can cause a range of highs and lows within a person’s mood. At one moment somebody might feel on top of the world and the next severely depressed. Either extreme can be a difficult experience for the person or those around them. Even the feeling of being on top of the world, or as officially this is called Mania. Where a person might become hyperactive, inattentive, irritable and volatile.
The depression part really does not need explaining so much but the Mania part can be definitely just as worrisome. At the very extreme end of this, it can cause psychotic delusions and in between that excessive and risky behavior. Such as overspending, careless or dangerous (even illegal) activity, and irresponsible abuse of substances such as drugs and alcohol.
Where Meditation comes into this it is similar to how it can help other conditions that I’ve also written about. By Mediation the two main things this can help with are relaxation and stress relief. Another thing is it can help focus the mind and attention.
According to Soroya Bacchus, MD a triple-board-certified psychiatrist in Santa Monica, California the best time for somebody that suffers from BPD is after a Manic Episode has resolved. Putting a strong emphasis on posture and breathing exercises.
One type of Meditation that stands out therapeutically is Mindfulness. This allows the Meditator to focus on different thoughts and disengage from negative and unhealthy thinking. What’s more, studies taken in 2017 of participants with BPD taking part in MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) showed a better quality of life after continuing to Meditate with less of an occurrence of depressive relapses.
Does Meditation Help Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental illness often associated with BPD because of its common symptoms. Where Schizophrenia is different is because the symptoms are generally a lot more extreme. These are most well known as amongst others; Delusions – thinking things are happening that aren’t. Hallucinations – seeing and hearing things that aren’t there, and Disassociative and Disorganized Thinking – Disassociation of identity, & reality, and things like memory loss, and muteness (losing the ability to speak). Other symptoms can occur obviously but these are the more prevalent.
But does meditation help Schizophrenia? that is the question. Out of the many therapies for Schizophrenia how Meditation can help is by recognizing and challenging distorted thinking. Mindfulness again is the recommended method. To clear one’s mind from anything that’s outside of its perception. Inducing a calm relaxed state to review single thoughts. To sift through and remove the unhealthy and negative concepts in one’s own mind.
Bringing focus to the more positive and peaceful ideas that get pushed out. Dark thoughts like sadness and worry can be overwhelming but being able to dispel these it can make concentrating on more constructive things a whole lot easier.
So Mediation can act as a kind of cognitive-behavioral therapy for Schizophrenia in this way. In itself Schizophrenia is kind of like a metaphysical phenomenon in itself I think. It makes me think of a radio dial that tunes into different frequencies. To me what I wonder is if some behavior like disassociation could be down to a kind of multidimensional interference. It is a crazy idea but what I think is if this is the case then there is something in the new age arena called attunement.
Attunement = The practice of bringing oneself to find the perfect balance and harmony within one’s spirit.
Meditation Helps Anxiety
This is definitely something about Meditation that can help a lot of people. Recently I wrote about Meditation for Musicians and for Children with Autism and ADHD. What really became apparent to me is for Musicians having to perform in front of people and for anybody basically on the autistic spectrum or that has ADHD – Anxiety goes hand in hand.
The same can be said for mental illness. Anxiety is a very common symptom. It’s cause I would say is worrying about things too much. All the What If’s… about bad things that might happen. Mindfulness Meditation I think is great for this. Targeting all the negative root causes of your concerns and just getting on with things. Positive thinking I will discuss in the next section below but anxieties are usually stemmed from past experiences.
A saying that I think holds a lot of weight is the one which says;
Yesterday is the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. ~Bil Keane~
This say’s it all for me instead of dwelling on the past what you can’t change, or the future which hasn’t happened yet focus your mind on the present time. Mindfulness can help in this way by clearing your thoughts of your past experience and future worries. If you close your eyes and just only focus attention on your body and your breathing see if after say 5-10 minutes time this makes you feel better or not.
Meditation for Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia
Careful waters definitely need to be tread here. The phrase positive thinking is not one that should be thrown about too much to somebody with BPD or Schizophrenia. It is along the right lines don’t get me wrong but for someone suffering from either illness for them to set positive goals that don’t materialize this can be just enough to push a person that isn’t in the right mind already over the edge. So the suggested idea is Optimistic thinking. Programming your mind to be open to whatever the outcome is.
This is something I read that I thought needed to be added to this article. Mental illness can be a slippery slope. There is never anything wrong with setting yourself goals but for anyone that is thinking about this. Are these goals your only reason for thinking positively? Is this thing going to maintain your positivity? Because what if these goals do not materialize?
Positivity needs to be built slowly but surely. So be optimally prepared for whatever outcome. Get on with whatever focuses your attention in the meantime. Do not dwell on the past. Do not worry about the future. Be positive but be optimistic.
Meditate around these core values but also meditate to feel relaxed and to make yourself at peace with your surroundings.
In conclusion, I feel like I’ve tackled another quite sensitive issue today. Hopefully, people can read this and it gives them something to think about. How Meditation can help them. I think there is probably quite a bit I didn’t cover here in all fairness but the main thing for me is I have approached the topic in the right way.
If I haven’t I am sincerely sorry please feel free to leave your feedback and questions in the comments below. Or if you find this article helpful all the same will be great to hear from you.
Either would be greatly appreciated and if you could please take the time to like and share – this would be great.
All the Best;
May the Peace Be with You x