It May Be Possible to Predict Bipolar Mood Swings: Study

Patients who felt they could manage their moods did better than their peers, researchers find

MONDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that it's possible to predict future mood swings in bipolar people by monitoring their thoughts and behavior.

Bipolar people suffer from extreme mood swings that veer between moments of emotional highs and euphoria to deep depression. In the new study, researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Lancaster in the United Kingdom followed 50 bipolar patients for a month, studying how they think and act.

"Individuals who believed extreme things about their moods -- for example, that their moods were completely out of their own control or that they had to keep active all the time to prevent becoming a failure -- developed more mood problems in a month's time," study lead author Warren Mansell, of the University of Manchester's School of Psychological Sciences, said in a university news release.

"In contrast, people with bipolar disorder who could let their moods pass as a normal reaction to stress or knew they could manage their mood fared well a month later," he added.

"These findings are encouraging for talking therapies -- such as CBT [cognitive behavioral therapy] -- that aim to help patients to talk about their moods and change their thinking about them," Mansell said.

The study findings are published in the current issue of the American Psychological Association journal Psychological Assessment.

The researchers plan to test a form of cognitive behavioral therapy for bipolar patients called TEAMS -- Think Effectively About Mood Swings -- in a future study.

More information

For more about bipolar disorder, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Randy Dotinga SOURCE: University of Manchester, news release, April 18, 2011

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