When psychological symptoms hit hard, like a Mac truck running straight into the center of your gut, then we can be sure that the self is in trouble. The New York Times article, The Problem With How We Treat Bipolar Disorder, dramatizes a woman's struggle with bipolar disorder and how she came to see that more than medication intervention, she needed help for her diseased sense of self. A diseased sense of self slams us with symptoms aplenty---depression, anxiety, substance abuse, sexual disorders, unending relational conflict!
After years of hospitalization, drugs, this woman finally confronted the psychological reality of the self. By turning within, acknowledging personal demons and what they have to convey through the antics they spring into our lives, we begin the process of true healing. Hospitals and drugs, not ends in themselves, only help to the degree that they facilitate the process of inner healing.
Patient soul searching in the company of a depth psychotherapist sheds light into dark realms of mind. A sincere woman expressed it wisely, "During hypomanic states I thought I was seeing so clearly and doing so much. Then, I'd crash and my mind would break into a million pieces. Once I stopped the running, and found someone to take the journey with me, I discovered things about myself and my life I didn't like and had to change. I'd been running for years. I'd run and crash and run and crash---that's bipolar disorder. Now, I watch myself. I start gearing up and I know it's time to go slow and turn inside, listen to what I need to hear and learn about myself."
Dark states of mind are loaded with healing potential. Depression, substance abuse, sexual disorders, relational conflicts really are gifts. They come to say, "You're unhappy for a reason. Take some time, look inside, discover what you need to so as to make the changes you need to." C.G. Jung, Sigmund Freud, William James, the great fathers of depth psychology, would bid us onward into deep realms of psyche and there come to terms with the fact that running from self ends in "breaking into a million pieces"; whereas, coming face to face with self offers the chance to unwrap the gift life has presented us.