I sustained a TBI 7 years ago (traumatic brain injury). As someone who suffers from bipolar disorder and OCD, I am always reading and viewing videos regarding these conditions and concepts that may be valuable to anybody suffering from a mental illness.
I had always had OCD, and I also have bipolar disorder. I have read that 15% to 20% of people with bipolar also have OCD. This makes sense to me. As I've discovered from personal experience, my bipolar and OCD thoughts are both based on emotions and impulses rather than rationality.
Because of my TBI, my OCD became much more pronounced, with a daily compulsive action. My compulsive practice is to touch my heart to make sure that my heart is slow. This started happening after my most recent seizure, which was around four years ago.
CBT (cognitive-behavioral treatment) has helped me manage my bipolar condition for many years. After learning that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a remarkably successful treatment for people with OCD, I started researching the best ways to use it in my treatment of the disorder.
I have learned that my gut, the part of me that wants to remain alive more than anything else, is the cause of all my fears. The need to touch my heart acts as a catalyst for everything that makes me feel unsafe. The action of touching my heart is not a core thought but the result of several core ideas, all of which are related to feeling secure.
I combine the hard science of CBT with the soft science of the Enneagram. As a professional resume writer, I recognize the importance of hard abilities, but we also need to display soft skills, such as listening and verbal communication, to demonstrate that you are a team player. In the same way, I integrate the Enneagram and CBT. The Enneagram reveals some of my core thoughts that are the source of my triggers, and then I use CBT to learn how to control these various aspects of myself, these core behaviors, feelings, and thoughts. CBT teaches me how to connect various pieces of myself, such as my subconscious and conscious self, or my guts, heart, and rational self.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Enneagram, it is a personality theory based on nine types. It illustrates that we can connect with all of the other types, but it also reveals where our natural, core thoughts originate. I do not "believe" in the Enneagram. I use the Enneagram, which emphasizes both an action and a mental movement. I use the Enneagram in the same manner as I apply the concept of individuals having distinct types of intelligence, such as visual or kinetic intelligence. Both are concepts and theories that I find quite beneficial.
The Enneagram identifies nine personality types, three of which start in the gut, three of which originate in the heart, and three of which develop in the mind (the rational part of us). DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) was developed from CBT and has definite conceptual similarities with CBT. DBT examines the interplay of our guts, emotions, and rational thinking. This suggests that both the Enneagram and DBT share the same idea about how to link these three components of ourselves. Finally, we know that our brainstem is where our surviving ideas originate. Our limbic system manages our emotions/heart, and our neo-cortex handles logical cognition.
On the Enneagram, I am a type 5 with a type 4 wing. The number five represents my reasoning intellect, whereas the number four represents my emotions (heart). This implies that I am skilled at digesting intellectual information, but that I also have a propensity for trying to reason through nonsensical ideas.
My analytical mind does not seem to be in sync with my gut instincts. So, I began focusing on ways to connect with my gut reactions. I began doing more exercises and stretches to help me feel more connected to my guts. I also began drinking a morning smoothie, which includes a variety of vitamins, fiber, and protein. Starting with modest modifications in my life, I am already seeing how to feel more connected to my guts so that my heart and mind can communicate with my stomach.
Another thing that happened when I regularly listened to my gut was that I saw I needed to change my views of what it meant to be safe so that I could truly feel safe instead of looking for a kind of safety that isn't there. This is not to suggest that I am not a tight, worried person. This implies that I recognize where my fears are coming from and can interact with that part of myself to secure my safety.
I encourage you to explore your anxieties and then try to see if you can trust your senses. Allow yourself the time needed to speak with your intuition. Slow down your thoughts so you can hear what your stomach is saying. It doesn't mean your gut feelings are always correct but paying attention to this part of yourself may help you realize that this is only a thought. We can always control our actions and behaviors, and we can always select which thoughts to use.
In future blogs, I will talk about techniques for cognitive behavioral therapy as well as natural pills to help stress that I personally use daily. I have a new CBT book that I am going to read. I am going to write a blog about each chapter after I have read it, so we will actually be learning together about how to use CBT to help ourselves and perhaps even those around us. Remember that you don’t have to change other people’s minds to make their lives better. Changing and managing your vibrations, making sure that your vibrations are healthy and useful, can slowly change the vibrations of other people around you.
Here is a link for what I personally believe is the best natural tea for sleeping: