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Fighting Stigma

This recent New York Times article discusses Mariah Carey’s recent disclosure regarding her struggles with mental illness. Carey was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder in 2001, in the midst of an extremely successful career, but kept her mental health struggles a secret until recently because of her fears that stigma would end her career. The last year has seen a wave of celebrities disclosing their personal mental health battles, inspiring others to follow suit in an effort to stomp out the stigma of mental illness. For individuals struggling with bipolar disorder, characterized by extreme mood swings ranging from mania to extreme depression, accurate and timely diagnosis as well as both CBT and psycho-pharmaceutical interventions are critical to best care practices. Disclosures from celebrities like Mariah Carey help to increase awareness and can encourage individuals who are suffering to seek help.

In addition to making an effort to destigmatize mental illness, ABCT also has a “Find a Therapist” page with an extensive list of therapists and their areas of expertise to help those who are beginning the journey toward mental health and wellness.

To learn more about Bipolar Disorder, see

Related Information

What Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of treatment that is based firmly on research findings.  It places emphasis on changing your cognitions (thoughts) or behaviors (actions) in order to effect change in how you feel. These approaches help people in achieving specific changes or goals.

Changes or goals might involve:

A way of acting: like smoking less or being more outgoing;
A way of feeling: like helping a person to be less scared, less depressed, or less anxious;
A way of thinking: like learning to problem-solve or get rid of self-defeating thoughts;
A way of dealing with physical or medical problems: like reducing back pain or helping a person stick to a doctor’s suggestions.

Cognitive behavioral therapists usually focus more on the current situation and its solution, rather than the past. They concentrate on a person’s views and beliefs about their life. CBT is an effective treatment for individuals, parents, children, couples, and families. The goal of CBT is to help people improve and gain more control over their lives by changing behaviors that don’t work well to ones that do.

How to Get Help

If you are looking for help, either for yourself or someone else, you may be tempted to call someone who advertises in a local publication or who comes up from a search of the Internet. You may, or may not, find a competent therapist in this manner. It is wise to check on the credentials of a psychotherapist. It is expected that competent therapists hold advanced academic degrees. They should be listed as members of professional organizations, such as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies or the American Psychological Association. Of course, they should be licensed to practice in your state. You can find competent specialists who are affiliated with local universities or mental health facilities or who are listed on the websites of professional organizations. You may, of course, visit our website ( and click on “Find a CBT Therapist”

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) is an interdisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of a scientific approach to the understanding and amelioration of problems of the human condition. These aims are achieved through the investigation and application of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to assessment, prevention, and treatment.

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