Controlling the "Bipolar Beast"
All Critical Thinking work is done within the FyrenIyce-Think list
forum. At one time during the early years of this website, I would
work in dialogue one-on-one with whomever was interested in improving
their critical skills, but the correspondence level inundated me and I
decided to make the list itself our critical skills laboratory. FyrenIyce-Think
has functioned beautifully in this capacity for over 2 years now and continues
to grow and become ever more prominent within the FyrenIyce organization.
The following pages may be printed out as handouts that will provide
a quick introduction to some basic concepts in critical thinking. You
will notice that each section is distinct, thus making it easy to download
or come back to as you wish. I have tailored the handouts specifically
for those dealing with being bipolar. Hence, each offers examples and
ideas, along with direct instructions and explanations addressing the
way bad thinking makes for greater illness and poorer life quality. Shoddy,
sloppy, confused thinking can spell hospitalisation and even death.
The handouts constitute a fairly standard and straightforward introduction
to the basics of critical thinking . Once you've read through the definitions
and other materials, you then will be ready to discuss and debate controversial
topics with the list group. ALL of your feedback and learning comes from
and through both myself and your peers on the list so you'll have to join
list in order to participate.
In other words, I think progress in thinking occurs only when one or
more persons engage in a dialogue, in a philosophical discussion, if you
will. In this manner, we can get to know each other individually. Part
of the value of this course (for those of you who cringe a bit at new
or unsettling experiences) is to help you overcome that nagging fear or
apprehension. It's a struggle, I can promise you that, because I've watched
my college students fight to overcome the same kind of apprehension, but
the sense of accomplishment they felt having achieved their goal seemed
well worth it to them as I hope it will to you too.
Want an example? Ok, suppose you've an ex-spouse who
is giving you a hard time over your children by being vindictive and nasty,
even taunting you to anger. What would you do? Honestly, would you try
getting even? Cry? Call an attorney? What if you've no money to call an
attorney? Would you argue, taunt and fight back with the ex? Would you
try to turn your children against him or her? Would you leave the state
or country? How you assess and think about your options here could very
well mean the difference between losing your children and/or visitation
rights or not.
It's so important to think critically before acting. There are too many
situations that you'll face which are similar to this that it simply is
foolhardy not to prepare yourself to think in a disciplined, analytic,
non-emotional manner. You can learn how to think that way by reading the
information here and then signing up to engage in spirited debate onlist.
If you will trust me, I think we can learn from one another AND
have a some fun while we do it :)
Brief synopses of each of the handouts follow. Just follow the link
for each to begin the section.
|| This section covers some basic skills for accessing your personal
|| A section exploring specific blocking mechanisms that make for
poor thinking ability.
| Discussion of language, especially how it is often used to confuse
and persuade via a powerful rhetoric.
|| This module delves deeply into the distinction to be made between
"believing" and "knowing" whether something
is true or false.
|| An in depth discussion of morality, ethics and moral judgements
in terms of their origin and impact on how the bipolar person often
harshly judges him/herself.
|| This bit will surprise and shock you, but it gives you a sure
method (based upon careful consideration and analysis of what it
means to be "responsible") for making really tough choices.
| This is a wrap-up with an emphasis on real life examples and
applications of the aforementioned skills.