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Question
Posted by: Bill | 2011/08/30

CBT for Bipolar

Hi Doc
Is CBT or any psychological method really helpful in a condition such as Bipolar 2 or should the primary management of the symptoms be biochemically? Although CBT has an outstanding track record for depression, anxiety and OCD it is documented that its effectiveness for managing a Bipolar disorder is not as high.
If CBT really plays an important part in treating Bipolar can you say that CBT is to people with mental illness as physiotherapy is to someone who suffered a broken back?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I agree, haven't seen convincing evidence of great value of CBT in true bipolar disorder, as compared with chemical means, but I think it depends very much on what would be the purpose of using it ( I have even seen intriguing evidence of its value in schizophrenia, to assist in the control of some symptoms ).
FOr a curative / major control of full bipolar disorder, I wouldn't see CBT as effective, and that would be an unrealistic expectation for it. But maybe that's positing a false alternaive. COMBINED with chemical mood stabilizers, it could still be useful in helping someone deal with problems caused or exacerbated by the BD, for instance
Physiotherapy doesn't cure or heal broken backs or other bones - but can be most valuable in helping the broken individual, once the bone is healing through traditional methods, to regain strength and mobility. Maybe that's a more appropriate view of what CBT might help to do

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/08/30

I agree, haven't seen convincing evidence of great value of CBT in true bipolar disorder, as compared with chemical means, but I think it depends very much on what would be the purpose of using it ( I have even seen intriguing evidence of its value in schizophrenia, to assist in the control of some symptoms ).
FOr a curative / major control of full bipolar disorder, I wouldn't see CBT as effective, and that would be an unrealistic expectation for it. But maybe that's positing a false alternaive. COMBINED with chemical mood stabilizers, it could still be useful in helping someone deal with problems caused or exacerbated by the BD, for instance
Physiotherapy doesn't cure or heal broken backs or other bones - but can be most valuable in helping the broken individual, once the bone is healing through traditional methods, to regain strength and mobility. Maybe that's a more appropriate view of what CBT might help to do

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