Support for People Living with Bipolar Disorder

Receiving a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder can be frightening and confusing. To help people who are living with Bipolar I and Bipolar II disorders, Dominion Behavioral Healthcare has a Bipolar Support Group. This group is designed to help individuals better understand and manage their moods and symptoms, learn strategies for living more successfully, and to facilitate a peer network for support, encouragement, and education. This group is held on the second Tuesday of every month from noon until 1:15 pm at the 2305 North Parham Road location. If you are interested in learning more about this group, or possibly participating in this group, please contact Valerie Acosta, M.Ed., LPC at (804) 270-1124 extension 124. The cost for this group is $75 per session and may be covered by your insurance. If you are not already a client of Dominion Behavioral Healthcare, you will be asked to complete the New Client Paperwork as well.

Group participants report that one benefit from attending this group is meeting other individuals who are living with bipolar disorder. Most group members have been figuring out their recovery with the help of their therapist and psychiatrist but have never met someone else who is personally living with bipolar disorder. Learning how others successfully manage their manic and depressive symptoms, can be life-changing and lifesaving. Having the opportunity to meet other individuals who are recovering and rebuilding their lives can help participants better navigate the challenges related to living with this disorder.

One strategy for dealing with the symptoms of bipolar disorder that group participants have found useful is using apps to track mood. Mood tracking apps help clients to understand how their mood cycles and helps them to identify triggers that contribute to mood changes. These apps also provide data that clients can use to discuss their progress with their therapists and psychiatrists. Two apps that are often used by group participants are the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Wellness Tracker and Daylio. Both are free and very user friendly. After tracking their mood for a few months, clients learn a great deal about how their mood cycles and this helps them better understand the nuances of their moods, their triggers, and what helps and does not help with stabilizing their moods.

To learn more about this group and strategies for living successfully with Bipolar Disorder, please contact us at (804) 270-1124 ext 124.

Article by Dalton Acosta, LPC, M.Ed.