Bipolar Sufferers Find Solace on Talkspace



Talkspace, an online therapy application, aims to make therapy more accessible and affordable to all. Now, people can receive proper mental health care without having to make an appointment, take time off work, and travel to an office. In our fast-paced world, filled with anxiety-inducing events and news cycles, therapy may be more necessary than ever. Now, anytime they need help, people are turning to Talkspace for therapy.


For just one example of how Talkspace works, consider how Talkspace can affect the life of someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder.


People with a bipolar disorder can suffer from extreme sadness, irritation, mood instability, lack of interest in sex, and other symptoms. Perhaps the most stereotyped idea of the typical bipolar patient is that of a person who can go from being extremely happy to dismally sad in the course of a few short hours. While that image is misleading, it does represent the contrasting “poles” many bipolar patients experience when it comes to their changes in mood.


Now, with platforms like Talkspace, patients who suffer from bipolar disorder have access to a unique therapeutic environment in which therapists are accessible to triage manic episodes and can refer the patients to appropriate resources. Although medication can’t be prescribed over the Talkspace app (there are currently no psychiatrists on the platform), Talkspace patients can benefit from the vast benefits offered by ongoing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).


Additionally, Talkspace offers an opportunity for therapists to speak to their patients and check in on them, resulting in fewer chances of the occurrence of a manic episode. While rapport is being built between client and carer, such communication can help the relationship becomes one of trust and understanding. Bipolar patients can benefit greatly from routine checkups, limiting potentially risky behavior.

In a recent interview published on Vice, 29-year-old journalist Rachid Moutiq explained why mania is as bad as depression as someone suffering from a bipolar disorder:


“There are two main reasons. The first one is that if you’re manic long enough, eventually the same thing happens as when you’re doing coke for a few days straight—you become paranoid, and out of control. After a manic episode, my brain just snaps and the depression hits. Secondly, you do things that are out of character when you’re manic. You make important decisions about your life, money, and relationships in a split second, and that can ruin your life.


“I once gambled away $2,400 and the bank closed my account. Hyper-sexuality is also a symptom—I’ve had manic sex in public spaces with people whose names I didn’t even know. It can ruin your relationships, your friendships, and your career. It’s not uncommon for people to quit their jobs when they’re manic because they don’t want to be tied down, only to deeply regret it when the episode is over.”


Regardless of their personal challenges or mental health diagnoses, Talkspace patients now have an increased access to the pathway toward help, guided by their therapist. In the case of bipolar patients, not all are the same — but many share similar characteristics and make it possible to streamline effective treatments and approaches. Effective interventions with trusted partners like Talkspace therapists are crucial during difficult episodes involving such circumstances.


On the subject of impulsivity, bipolar patients’ symptoms are, inevitably, exacerbated by alcohol, which can decrease impulse control. As recently reported in the Psychiatry Advisor, bipolar and alcohol-use disorders (AUD) are “two commonly co-occurring conditions associated with more negative outcomes.” Wilfrid Noel Raby, M.D., Ph.D., the assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and a research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, told the publication that “Alcohol increases impulsivity in bipolar disorder and can also increase suicide attempts, whether or not they are successful.” Talkspace wants to provide an opportunity for patients to hold therapy sessions and prevent impulsive behavior.


If a bipolar patient needs a supportive ear or help making a life decision, they can message a Talkspace therapist and get guidance on a regular basis instead of having to schedule appointments days in advance. On average, Talkspace therapists typically respond twice a day, five days a week.


Talkspace is open to anyone seeking therapy services. The application already has more than 500,000 users who are served by about 2,000 professional therapists. And Talkspace is not just beneficial for your personal well-being because it can also be beneficial for your wallet. In a recent story, the tech blog Engadget praised the monetary value of the app.


Talkspace’s plans start from $32 per week. The minimum plan allows you to message your therapist whenever you need to and get a response from them once or twice daily. At an additional cost, you can also schedule monthly live video and audio sessions with your therapist.


As therapy apps continue to improve the lives of its patients, Talkspace hopes to lessen the stigma surrounding mental health disorders and make people feel more comfortable coming to therapy. Talkspace shows that the possibilities for improving the personal well-being without sacrificing comfort are endless, now that patients can literally be on their own couch while speaking to a mental health professional.