As October is Mental Health Awareness Month, I decided to choose Bipolar as the disorder that I want to psycho-educate on.

Please take caution when reading the following not to diagnose others or yourself, only qualified practitioners such as psychologists, psychiatrists and general practitioners can diagnose someone with a mental health disorder, however, after reading this if there are some signs of a mental health disorder identified please make an appointment with the above practitioners or with a Registered Counsellor to assist with identification and appropriate referral. It is vitally important to get the correct guidance as some physical conditions or substance abuse can be the underlying reason for a mental health disorder or perceived mental health disorder and this needs to be ruled out. A mental health disorder needs to have a significant impact on a person’s functioning to be diagnosed.

Bipolar is a brain disorder that causes EXTREME CHANGES in mood, energy and the ability to function.

There are three basic types of Bipolar, Bipolar 1, Bipolar 2 and Cyclothymic Disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of EXTREMELY “up,” elated and energized behaviour or increased activity levels (manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” hopeless or low activity level periods (depressive episodes). People with bipolar disorder also may have normal (euthymic) mood alternating with depression.

Bipolar 1

Is defined by manic episodes that last at least seven days (most of the day, nearly every day) or when manic symptoms are so severe that hospital care is needed. Usually, separate depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least two weeks. Episodes of mood disturbances with mixed features (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.

Bipolar 2

Is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.

Cyclothymic Disorder (also called Cyclothymia)

Is defined by persistent hypomanic and depressive symptoms that are not intense enough or do not last long enough to qualify as hypomanic or depressive episodes. The symptoms usually occur for two years in adults and for one year in children and teenagers.

Symptoms of a manic episode:

  • Feeling very up, high, elated or extremely irritable or touchy
  • Feeling jumpy or wired, more active than usual
  • Racing thoughts
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Talking fast about different things
  • Excessive appetite for food, drinking, sex or other pleasurable activities
  • Thinking you can do a lot of things without getting tired
  • Feeling like you are unusually important, talented, or powerful

Symptoms of a depressive episode

  • Feeling very down, sad, or anxious
  • Feeling slowed down or restless
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Trouble falling asleep, waking up too early, or sleeping too much
  • Talking very slowly, feeling like you have nothing to say, or forgetting a lot
  • Lack of interest in almost all activities
  • Unable to do even the simple things
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless, or thinking about death or suicide

As I am a Registered Counsellor, I have a limited scope, I can assist in identifying mental health disorders, psycho-educating the client on them and then referring them appropriately.

The following acts fall within the scope of practice of Registered Counsellors:

  • being the first line of community based psychological support;
  • providing preventative and developmental counselling services and interventions on all systems levels;
  • performing supportive psychological interventions to enhance emotional functioning and mental well-being;
  • performing basic psychological screening for the purpose of mental health as a preliminary screening tool in order to refer appropriately;
  • developing preventative and developmental interventions on all systems levels;
  • provide counselling in conjunction with interdisciplinary support teams
  • provide psycho-education and mental health promotion.
  • report writing and providing feedback to clients on interventions.

I am able to assist with the following:

Abuse and neglect

Acculturation difficulty



Aftercare support – Relapse prevention plans etc.


Attachment difficulties



Coping with divorce

Managing emotions

Phase of life problem


Relationship challenges

Self esteem

Sibling relational problems

Spouse or partner violence



Victim of crime

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me for an online counselling session. Let’s together create an environment where you can connect with yourself again, an environment that fosters and encourages authenticity. An environment where you can follow your gut and get to know what it looks like.

After doing an intake I might be able to help you with a few sessions using BWRT (Brainworking Recursive Therapy) read more about BWRT on another blog on my website:, or we will use another technique depending on your unique needs


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