At-risk kids may have dysregulated coping mechanisms
December 1, 2020, RIZE, Turkey—A new study has found distinct psychological features among children at high risk for bipolar disorder due to observable symptoms or family history.
The Turkish study compared high-risk kids to children without risk factors. They found the high-risk kids were less likely to suppress angry behaviors or statements, scored lower in areas of trust and communication with peers and parents, tended to feel more helpless and less optimistic in challenging circumstances, and were less self-aware about their emotions.
The authors noted that the tendency toward pessimism in facing challenges heightens the likelihood of future depressive episodes.
The study, which appeared in the Journal of Affective Disorders, was entitled “Psychiatric and psychological features of children at high-risk for bipolar disorder.”
Chronic pain in veterans with bipolar related to mood states
December 1, 2020, BALTIMORE, MD—A new study a link between mood states of people in treatment for bipolar disorder and experiencing pain.
American researchers, noting chronic pain is highly prevalent among people with mood disorders, looked at a group of U.S. military veterans living with both bipolar and chronic pain. Interviews showed a bidirectional relationship between pain and bipolar depression.
During manic episodes, there were notable increases in pain during angry/irritable mania, notable reductions during euphoric manic, or a feeling of being disconnected from pain.
The authors said the findings from their pilot project suggest point to a need to assess chronic pain in veterans with bipolar disorder since changes in mood could have significant implications for functioning and pain management.
The study, which appeared in theJournal of Affective Disorders, was entitled “Relationships between chronic pain and mood symptoms among veterans with bipolar disorder.”
Multiple factors influence dosage of mood stabilizers
November 30, TOCHIGI, Japan—A new study has shed light on what factors medical professionals look at to decide which dose of a mood stabilizer to prescribe when treating bipolar disorder.
Japanese researchers noted that treatment guidelines for bipolar often arise from academic studies with limited parameters. They looked at data from “real-world practical treatment” of outpatients with bipolar at psychiatric clinics in Japan to determine correlations in prescribing.
Depending on which of four mood stabilizers was prescribed, dosage varied according to age, body weight, number of episodes, the nature of mood states (mania, bipolar depression, psychotic features), and general functioning.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may be feasible
November 11, 2020, NIJMEGAN, The Netherlands—Dutch researchers have identified some of the barriers and facilitators for people with bipolar disorder taking mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).
The researchers piggybacked onto an ongoing study of whether MBCT is a cost-effective intervention for bipolar. They interviewed a small group of people that had participated in an eight-week MBCT program adapted for individuals with bipolar. All participants were receiving “treatment as usual” for their bipolar I or bipolar II.
Among the factors that helped make the MBCT course successful: a convenient location for the classes, practical and emotional support from close family, a greater variety of exercises offered, and a willingness to embrace mindfulness practice.
Mood symptoms at either end of the spectrum were commonly mentioned as barriers (although some found the elevated energy of hypo/mania made it easier to get assigned exercises done at home). The study authors said clinical implications included having two teachers in class sessions for more personalized attention and s well as extra follow-up with individuals in a bipolar depression.
November 9, 2020, HELWAN, Egypt—Family members caring for people with bipolar disorder not only experience high levels of stress and other practical burdens, but also face heavy stigma, a new study says.
Egyptian researchers, noting that family caregivers play a crucial role in supporting relatives with psychiatric conditions, looked at hundreds of caregivers with a relative hospitalized for bipolar or another severe brain-based disorder.
Caregivers met with stigma for their family member’s diagnosis, aggressive behavior by the family member, having poor knowledge of or negative attitudes toward psychiatric conditions, having little education, and having sought treatment from traditional healers and other non-psychiatric resources.
The authors “highly recommended” psycho-education programs directed towards family caregivers.
November 6, 2020, TORONTO, ON— Canadian and Swiss researchers called for more targeted interventions to help individuals with serious behavioral health conditions who are incarcerated multiple times a year.
The researchers followed more than 4,000 people discharged from a correctional mental health service for a median of 535 days. They found a higher rate of return to custody was associated with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorder traits, crack cocaine and methamphetamine use, and unstable housing.
The authors concluded that effective treatment for psychiatric and/or substance use disorders and addressing issues around homelessness could reduce the problem of repeated criminalization.
The study, which appeared in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry online ahead of print, was entitled “Patterns and predictors of reincarceration among prisoners with serious mental illness: A cohort study.”
Service and treatment use differ among men and women
November 6, 2020, OTAGO, New Zealand—Treatment patterns and use of national health services in New Zealand appears to differ between men and women with bipolar disorder, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that the rates of people with bipolar in contact with specialist mental health services were 30 per cent higher among women. In addition, women were more likely to receive only outpatient treatment and to have co-existing anxiety.
Men had higher rates of co-existing substance abuse disorder and were more likely to be convicted of crimes when unwell, receive inpatient treatment, and receive compulsory treatment orders.
The study, which appeared in the journal BJPsych Open, was entitled “Gender and mental health service use in bipolar disorder: National cohort study.”
Level of education, substance abuse impact employment rate
November 5, 2020, HELSINKI, Finland—Co-existing substance use is highly associat3ed with lack of employment in people with bipolar disorder, according to Finnish and Swedish researchers.
The researchers looked at all adults in Sweden diagnosed with bipolar from 2006 to 2013. Three years before their diagnosis, 45 per cent of people who developed bipolar were employed. The employment rate dropped around the time of first diagnosis, and five years later only 34 percent had paid work.
The most important factors associated with continued employment after diagnosis were a high level of education, older age at the first diagnosis, no substance use disorder, and a low number of previous hospitalizations. Men had a higher employment rate than women.
The study, which appeared in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavicaonline ahead of print, was entitled “Employment among people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder: A population-based study using nationwide registers.”
Enhanced primary care helps reduce ER visits October 1, 2020, CHAPEL HILL, NC—Integrating primary care services and behavioral health services appears to reduce emergency room visits among people with severe psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder, a new study suggests. American researchers, using the customary term “serious mental illness,” noted that individuals with such conditions...
With bipolar disorder, we’re more likely to become overdependent on our digital devices. Here’s how personal tech can affect our moods—plus tips for self-protection. Are we too attached to our digital devices? That question has been debated for almost as long as the iPhone has been around, giving rise to the first National Day of...
Whether you live with bipolar or love someone who does, you can find comfort, wisdom, and strategies (maybe even a good laugh!) in these inspirational books. We can lose ourselves in the power of the written word, compelled by the raw emotions, deep insights, and humorous takes offered by others like us—people who share our...
Internet, mobile-based interventions help panic disorder November 1, 2020, ULM, Germany—Internet and mobile-based interventions appear effective for adults with diagnosed panic disorder and/or agoraphobia, a new study suggests. German researchers said up until now there’s been no comprehensive analysis looking at how effective those interventions are for adults diagnosed with those conditions, so they analyzed...