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1
CREST.BDBipolar Wellness Center Webinars
Connect. Learn. Engage.
2
Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars
Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD
Identity
3
Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars
Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BDCREST.BD
Featuring: Dr. Nasreen Khatri
CREST.BD Member,
...
4
Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars
Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD
Defining identity
Why identity is important to your QoL...
5
Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars
Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD
Defining identity
Everybody has a unique sense of self,...
6
Understand (or interpret) the world through the lenses
of our identities
How we see ourselves can actually shape who we ...
7
Emotional turbulence of BD can challenge finding
stable sense of self
BD can involve dramatic changes in your feelings,
...
8
Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars
Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD
Identity and BD
Negative identity:
•	 In depression, ma...
9
Some people with BD describe the onset of BD as a disruption in
their life story and identity1
Describe a process whereb...
10
Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars
Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD
Role engulfment
Identity becomes entirely based on one...
11
You can, with practice and commitment, develop
insight into who you are versus what aspects of your
behaviour come from...
12
Try to develop a sense of self beyond your illness
Make a list of your characteristics (values, roles, strengths and
ab...
13
Teach yourself and others to tell the difference
between normal changes of emotions and mood
episodes
•	 E.g., you can ...
14
Identify negative self-messages about your BD, e.g.,“having
BD means I’m flawed”
•	 They is an example of self-stigma
•...
15
Instead of approaching your BD as one huge,
overwhelming problem, try thinking of it as a series
of specific, smaller p...
16
When exploring your different characteristics, be
gentle and accepting with the parts of yourself that
you would like t...
17
If you would like to make changes in your life, explore
what values are important to you
There is no ‘perfect’ or ‘corr...
18
Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars
Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD
Tools and Resources
19
Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars
Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD
Resources
Living With Bipolar Disorder and Finding You...
20
Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars
Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD
Resources
The Problem With How We
Treat Bipolar Disord...
21
Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars
Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD
For more information and resources,
visit our Bipolar ...
22
Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars
Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD
Acknowledgments
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CREST.BD Identity & Bipolar Disorder Slides

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A warm welcome to CREST.BD’s Bipolar Wellness Centre webinar series! These slides provide a summary of current research evidence on the relationship between identity, bipolar disorder (BD) and quality of life (QoL), as well as pointing you to some tools and resources to help you establish a stable sense of self.

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CREST.BD Identity & Bipolar Disorder Slides

  1. 1. 1 CREST.BDBipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.
  2. 2. 2 Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD Identity
  3. 3. 3 Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BDCREST.BD Featuring: Dr. Nasreen Khatri CREST.BD Member, Registered Clinical Psychologist and Researcher at the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Identity
  4. 4. 4 Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD Defining identity Why identity is important to your QoL Identity and BD How you can take action Webinar focus
  5. 5. 5 Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD Defining identity Everybody has a unique sense of self, or identity Encompasses all the meaningful roles, relationships, characteristics, values, commitments, behaviours and associations about ourselves Whether or not we live with BD, a solid sense of identity is important for health and QoL At the same time, as we grow from life experiences, our identities grow with us
  6. 6. 6 Understand (or interpret) the world through the lenses of our identities How we see ourselves can actually shape who we are Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD Why is identity important to QoL?
  7. 7. 7 Emotional turbulence of BD can challenge finding stable sense of self BD can involve dramatic changes in your feelings, thinking and behaviour – strains ability to maintain consistency Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD Identity and BD
  8. 8. 8 Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD Identity and BD Negative identity: • In depression, may view yourself in an exaggeratedly negative way, ignoring your gifts and accomplishments Overly positive identity: • In hypomania/mania, may view yourself in an exaggeratedly positive way
  9. 9. 9 Some people with BD describe the onset of BD as a disruption in their life story and identity1 Describe a process whereby they re-evaluate their sense of self1 Disruption may be even more critical when onset of BD occurs in youth, when identity still being discovered and solidified Others, however, report positive changes, seeing their BD as transformative or life-altering1 1 Michalak, E., Livingston, J. D., Hole, R., Suto, M., Hale, S., & Haddock, C. (2011). ‘It’s something that I manage but it is not who I am’: Reflections on internalized stigma in individuals with BD. Chronic Illness, 7(3): 209-224. Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD Identity and BD
  10. 10. 10 Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD Role engulfment Identity becomes entirely based on one aspect of self, or one role you fill, undervaluing or ignoring other aspects and roles2 “I am a parent, a caring friend, I care about the environment, and I live with BD” You have strengths, characteristics, values and goals that go well beyond your BD However, there can be times in your illness, especially when coping with a difficult mood episode, when focusing almost solely on managing your BD can be an effective strategy to regain health and wellness 2 Lally, S.J. (1989). “Does being here mean there is something wrong with me?” Schizophrenic Bull, 15: 253-265.
  11. 11. 11 You can, with practice and commitment, develop insight into who you are versus what aspects of your behaviour come from BD Aim: develop a stable, positive identity that keeps you in touch with the full range of your values, abilities and roles, rather than focusing only on limitations placed on you by BD3 3 Yanos, P.T., Roe, D., Lysaker, P.H. (2010). The impact of illness identity on recovery from severe mental illness. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 13: 73-93. Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD How you can take action
  12. 12. 12 Try to develop a sense of self beyond your illness Make a list of your characteristics (values, roles, strengths and abilities, interests, priorities, habits, etc.) in two columns 1. List those related to BD, e.g.“I suffer from rapidly shifting mood”; or “sometimes I go on impulsive spending binges” 2. List those not related to BD, e.g. “I enjoy playing tennis” or “I’m a helpful person” 3. Most of your characteristics are not caused by BD – remind yourself that you are much more than ‘bipolar’. BD can be seen as “something I manage, not who I am”1 1 Michalak, E., Livingston, J. D., Hole, R., Suto, M., Hale, S., & Haddock, C. (2011). ‘It’s something that I manage but it is not who I am’: Reflections on internalized stigma in individuals with BD. Chronic Illness, 7(3): 209-224. Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD How you can take action
  13. 13. 13 Teach yourself and others to tell the difference between normal changes of emotions and mood episodes • E.g., you can be excited or happy without being manic, sad and frustrated without being depressed • Can be very important to feeling supported and validated by others Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD How you can take action
  14. 14. 14 Identify negative self-messages about your BD, e.g.,“having BD means I’m flawed” • They is an example of self-stigma • Cognitive Therapy can help to identify negative thoughts that are unrealistic, unfair or unhelpful, to challenge these thoughts and to replace them with thoughts that are more realistic, fair and helpful4 4 Yanos, P.T., Roe, D., Lysaker, P.H. (2011). Narrative enhancement and cognitive therapy: a new group-based treatment for internalized stigma among persons with severe mental illness. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 61: 576-595. Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD How you can take action
  15. 15. 15 Instead of approaching your BD as one huge, overwhelming problem, try thinking of it as a series of specific, smaller problems which you can manage using your creativity, problem-solving ability, personal values, skills, strengths and social support network • Remember that friends, family members and healthcare providers can help you with this endeavour Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD How you can take action
  16. 16. 16 When exploring your different characteristics, be gentle and accepting with the parts of yourself that you would like to change Being critical towards yourself causes unnecessary hardship Being kind to yourself can help to give you strength and can even help you make changes for the better Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD How you can take action
  17. 17. 17 If you would like to make changes in your life, explore what values are important to you There is no ‘perfect’ or ‘correct’ set of values: everyone has their own unique values that they consider important • Make a list of the ones that you feel are important • Once you have your list, try making realistic, specific and attainable goals that support each value Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD How you can take action
  18. 18. 18 Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD Tools and Resources
  19. 19. 19 Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD Resources Living With Bipolar Disorder and Finding Your Identity An interesting article written by someone who lives with BD – suggests actions you might follow to take care of your identity and actively define your own life path. http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/bipolarvida/2013/07/living-with-bipolar- disorder-and-finding-your-identity/
  20. 20. 20 Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD Resources The Problem With How We Treat Bipolar Disorder, Linda Logan for New York Times Magazine Personal story about losing and finding self with BD. http://www.nytimes. com/2013/04/28/magazine/ the-problem-with-how- we-treat-bipolar-disorder. html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
  21. 21. 21 Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD For more information and resources, visit our Bipolar Wellness Center at: http://www.bdwellness.com/ To assess your quality of life, visit our QoL tool at: http://www.bdqol.com/
  22. 22. 22 Bipolar Wellness Center Webinars Connect. Learn. Engage.CREST.BD Acknowledgments

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