Blog BipolarLab.com: Specialist Diagnostic, Treatment, and Research Services for Bipolar Disorder and Recurrent depression. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for Bipolar disorder and Depression. http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=latest&Itemid=2 Sun, 26 Mar 2017 18:47:02 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Research Alert! Decision making and risk in people diagnosed with bipolar disorder. http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=26&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=26&Itemid=2 Decision Making and Risk in people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder

Project Title: Decision making and risk in people diagnosed with bipolar disorder.


My name is Anna Chiara Sicilia and I am conducting this research as a student on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme at Lancaster University.

What is the study about?

The purpose of this study is to explore the links between the way in which people diagnosed with bipolar disorder make sense of their daily experiences and make decisions and their likelihood of taking risks in everyday life.

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<a href="/index.php?option=com_easyblog&amp;view=tags&amp;layout=tag&amp;id=2&amp;Itemid=2">Research</a>, <a href="/index.php?option=com_easyblog&amp;view=tags&amp;layout=tag&amp;id=3&amp;Itemid=2">bipolar disorder</a>, <a href="/index.php?option=com_easyblog&amp;view=tags&amp;layout=tag&amp;id=4&amp;Itemid=2">decision making</a>, <a href="/index.php?option=com_easyblog&amp;view=tags&amp;layout=tag&amp;id=5&amp;Itemid=2">Risk</a> Tue, 13 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000
Your Questions Answered: Bipolar Sailing Trip in Greece! FAQ (International edition) http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=25&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=25&Itemid=2

We answer all your questions regarding our forthcoming Bipolar Sailing Trip in Greece! In case you may have any more questions, please feel free to contact us

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Thu, 30 Jun 2016 00:00:00 +0000
Bipolar Sailing Trip in Greece! http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=24&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=24&Itemid=2 For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) its always ourselves we find in the sea - E. E. Cummings

- enjoy a nice week of sailing along with relaxation and mindfulness exercises

- make new friends who also have an interest in bipolar disorder

- be part of the first ever Bipolar Sailing Trip!

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Sat, 11 Jun 2016 00:00:00 +0000
Psychoeducation for Bipolar disorder...in search of a model. A reply to Professor Goodwin. http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=23&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=23&Itemid=2

Professor Goodwin's recent blog post on the mental health elf blog is very helpful in terms of summarising some of the problems we have with structured psychological therapies across most psychological disorders not just bipolar disorder. He is also a much respected figure and scientist in the field of Bipolar disorders in UK and internationally. It is also very encouraging that despite his significant involvement and contribution to pharmacological treatments of bipolar disorder, more recently he has been involved in the therapeutic role of psycho-education.

However, it is very disconcerting to read that psychoeducation as a psychosocial treatment modality in bipolar disorder is based on some coherent model of Bipolar disorder, whereas the other structured psychosocial treatments (CBT, IPSRT, FFT) are lacking in this respect.

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Mon, 15 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000
Suzy Hamilton's “Bipolar disorder” IS NOT responsible for her olympic career as a prostitute http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=22&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=22&Itemid=2 A recent interview and book publication by the former Olympic champion Suzy Hamilton reveals how her bipolar disorder led to her to become a high class prostitute.
The only certainty is that her "bipolar disorder", and the bipolar disorder of most of our patients, do not lead them to a career in prostitution.
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Fri, 11 Sep 2015 00:00:00 +0000
Electronic monitoring helps treatment adherence in Bipolar disorder http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=21&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=21&Itemid=2 In a recently published pilot study by Wenze, Armey, and Miller (2014), the improvement of treatment adherence in bipolar disorder was tested using Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). More specifically, the investigators wanted to test whether an intervention that utilized mobile technology and assisted the monitoring of bipolar disorder would be feasible and acceptable by bipolar patients.

Fourteen patients, with a diagnosis of bipolar spectrum disorder, participated in the study. The participants completed 2 weeks of brief twice-daily symptom assessments (which included common early warning signs of bipolar disorder, such as mood, mood change, sleep disturbance, psychomotor problems, anxiety, perceptual problems) and other potential momentary risk factors for treatment non-adherence (concordance between appointment attendance and medication adherence). In the beginning and at the end of this 2-week period participants completed measures of manic and depressive symptoms. Semi-individualized feedback was given back based on the participants' responses. At the end of the study, participants had also the chance to give additional feedback, and to express their overall satisfaction with the use of the PDA.

The findings of the present study suggested that the sessions were useful for the participants as a means to learn more about their symptoms and to increase treatment adherence. According to the researchers, this particular intervention helped participants to remember their daily appointments and medications, facilitated the conversations about therapeutic relationship with their treatment providers, established a routine into their everyday life, and developed a sense of positivity about their health. Finally, the researchers also found a decrease in the depressive symptoms of the participants.

Do you use a PDA (or smartphone) or any other electronic mood diary to help you monitor your bipolar disorder?

Do you prefer it over a more traditional paper-based mood diary or not?

What has your experience been?

study reference: Wenze, S. J., Armey, M. F., & Miller, I. W. (2014). Feasibility and Acceptability of a Mobile Intervention to Improve Treatment Adherence in Bipolar Disorder: A Pilot Study. Behavior modification. – Article written by: Mrs Myrto Filioglou, BipolarLab Psychologist, Edited by: Dr Yanni Malliaris

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Mon, 10 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0000
Bipolar and Depressed. What's the rush? http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=20&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=20&Itemid=2 Most of our depressed patients will often ask for immediate relief of their depression. But I always tell them what's the rush?

Being depressed and impatient may often be dangerous. And I repeat to them...what's the rush? And they probably wonder what's wrong with me. Until we start discussing their history, and start to identify previous episodes and other periods of their life where attempts for quick recovery led to hypomanic and manic switches, use and abuse of illegal substances (including antidepressant drugs), frequent changes and erroneous choice of therapists and therapies, and as a result more time with future depressive symptoms and episodes.

The fact is that being in a depressive episode doesn't really matter much. One way or another the depressive episode will pass. What will not pass, and what is really important, is the cycling and the constant episodes.

By making the depressive episode a treatment priority, one can easily forget what's really important here. This is also important for mental health professionals to understand. It's important to stop the episodes and to build stability - not to relieve immediate pain.

The more I treat bipolar depression, the more I appreciate how important it is to take it slowly, and to help my patients recover as gradually and as naturally as possible. Quick recoveries with antidepressant treatments are more likely to destabilize bipolar moods, and to bring ephemeral periods of wellness. Everybody will be extremely happy - but only for a little while.

So what's the rush I ask again?

And I listen to my wisest expert bipolar patients who cherish their periods of depression. They accept the pain. They cherish their new insights, and the fact that their families find them more cooperative than ever. They cherish their better understanding of their bipolar disorder. I admire their patience and trust in our treatment approach that relies more on mood stabilizing medications and cognitive behavioral therapy. I admire their trust in our advise to take it slowly in order to achieve a slow (and painful) but stable recovery.

I respect your pain and troubles if you are depressed, but take a moment and ask yourself, what's the rush?

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Sun, 12 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0000
Wishing you health & happiness this holiday season and in the year to come! http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=19&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=19&Itemid=2

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Thu, 26 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000
Is Christmas good for your Bipolar disorder? http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=18&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=18&Itemid=2 Reading so many articles about holidays and depression but at the same time working almost exclusively with bipolar patients, I wondered too. Is Christmas good for your Bipolar disorder? What can I really tell you or to our patients about this?

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Thu, 26 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000
Cognitive Rehabilitation for Bipolar Disorder: A new, complementary therapy http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=17&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=17&Itemid=2 Bipolar disorder is a condition characterized by recurrent episodes of depression and/or abnormally elevated mood (known as mania) that interfere with psychosocial functioning (see our guide). Depressive symptoms, along with cognitive difficulties in planning, problem solving, attention and memory, are known to be related to low psychosocial functioning and in particular occupational functioning (Bauer et al., 2001; Goldstein & Burdick, 2008).

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Mon, 25 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000
Celebrate National Bipolar Awareness Day with a free MoodPulse-Mini http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=15&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=15&Itemid=2  

The BipolarLab clinicians and staff celebrate the National Bipolar Awareness Day by offering to all bipolar friends a free MoodPulse-Mini session. You get:

 

1. A psychometric assessment of your mood (mania, depression, anxiety) and ability to function.

 

2. Mood measurement with gold-standard psychometric instruments.

 

3. A User-friendly report delivered immediately in your inbox and in your doctor's/therapist's email.

 

For more information about MoodPulse-Mini see here: http://www.bipolarlab.com/moodpulsemini

 

To book a place email support@bipolarlab.com

 

All assessments are provided all over the world via Skype (in English or Greek) with the assistance of a friendly BipolarLab facilitator.

 

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Tue, 08 Oct 2013 00:00:00 +0000
Invitation to Participate in our new Trial - Apocalypse http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=14&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=14&Itemid=2 The first 10 suitable patients will have the opportunity to use BipolarLab’s basic psychological support and symptom monitoring services for Bipolar Disorder and/or recurrent depression.

The aim of this trial (Apocalypse) is to assess and reveal (hence the Greek word Apocalypse) the effectiveness of BipolarLab's basic services in an attempt to maximize their quality and enable you to fully benefit from them.

Our clinical monitoring service provides the best possible symptom monitoring before, during and after therapy that may help you to prevent future relapses or to track your progress during treatment (read more: http://monitoring.bipolarlab.com).

Our personal psychological support service provides emotional support by cultivating a sense of security and self-esteem and helps you with the management of the daily stressors in your life (read more: http://support.bipolarlab.com).

In order to be considered for the trial, you will need to fill in our initial screening form, and to have a brief interview with one of our psychologists. The initial screen is provided to you at no cost.

In case you wonder here is a list of our basic inclusion criteria. Do not worry about them. We can discuss any questions you may have during our first meeting.

Trial inclusion criteria

1. Diagnosis of Bipolar disorder (type 1 or 2) or recurrent depressive disorder (2+ depressive episodes). 2. Not manic or psychotic - preferable stable or depressed. 3. On medication (if required) and in contact with a local psychiatrist. 4. Over 18 years old and willing to participate in this trial. 5. Access to a private computer with an internet connection.

If you have any more questions about this trial feel free to email me directly (yanni@bipolarlab.com) or else contact my colleague Myrto Filioglou at support@bipolarlab.com to get you started with this program.

With best wishes,

Yanni Malliaris

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<a href="/index.php?option=com_easyblog&amp;view=tags&amp;layout=tag&amp;id=2&amp;Itemid=2">Research</a> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 00:00:00 +0000
Befriending Bipolar Disorder: BipolarLab eBuddy Program! http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=12&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=12&Itemid=2

picture copyright & courtesy of Christina Tsevis (crosti)

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental disorder that disrupts the emotional and social lives of people who suffer from it.

Patients with bipolar disorder experience intense periods of mania, where they tend to feel over optimistic or even grandiose, and often become overly social or even inappropriate in their contact with other people. This is something they usually regret and feel ashamed of later, but they have little control over their behavior when they are manic. They also tend to experience periods of depression, where they become withdrawn and isolate themselves. When they do not experience a mood episode, they tend to be fairly well and very likable and cherish the friendship of others, but the effects of their previous episodes persist. The mood episodes disrupt their social lives, and as a result they are often isolated. The lack of a supportive network of friends makes their lives even more difficult to bear, increases their risk to become unwell again, and delays their recovery.

Our BipolarLab eBuddy program aims to develop a network of BipolarLab eBuddies who will volunteer their time to befriend at least one bipolar patient who will be undergoing supervised treatment by a BipolarLab professional.

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Sat, 19 Jan 2013 00:00:00 +0000
Bipolar activity revealed! http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=16&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=16&Itemid=2 Bipolar disorder has been found to be “the sixth most disabling medical condition”(Murray & Lopez, 1997). Bipolar patients often have other medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease and both depression and mania are phases that are associated with significant problems in activity. Therefore, one cannot help but realize the need to look into more depth the complex relationship between physical activity and bipolar disorder. Even though many studies in the past have tried to look at this relationship, it is only recently that advances in accelerometer technologies are beginning to help us to measure accurately activity patterns in bipolar disorder.

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Fri, 11 Jan 2013 00:00:00 +0000
Season wishes from BipolarLab.com with a moodeat turkey recipe! http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=11&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=11&Itemid=2 We wish you a very merry and cheery Christmas and a Happy New Year with a moodeat turkey recipe specially prepared for you to help you cope with the Christmas Blues.

We know it takes a lot more than a moodeat turkey, but every little thing you do helps!

Remember to prepare it with a group of supportive friends and loving family members.

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Tue, 25 Dec 2012 00:00:00 +0000
Setting up and running an evidence based clinical e-practice: BipolarLab.com http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=10&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=10&Itemid=2 Setting up and running an evidence based clinical e-practice in the field of mental health is an exhilarating challenge!

In other fields of medicine, this may not be the case, but in the mental health world, evidence based practice is a relatively new development.

"Evidence-based practice" means we conduct our clinical practice based on evidence that we've acquired from clinical research. Similar to drug research, your doctor will usually prescribe medications that've been tested thoroughly through many trials, and have been proven to benefit your health condition. Once upon a time, your therapy could've been based on Dr. Ego’s clinical expertise, big name or great insights, but thankfully these days such practices are slowly becoming a nightmare of the past (although, drug companies still invest on armies of Dr. Egos “aka opinion leaders” to influence your local doctor’s prescription practices).

However, evidence-based practice is a fairly recent development in the field of mental health, and especially in the field of psychotherapy. The rise of behavioral therapy in the 60s, partly as a reaction to the psychoanalytic status quo, and later its marriage with cognitive therapy, have given us a remarkable new tradition of true evidence-based psychotherapeutic practice.

 

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Wed, 26 Sep 2012 00:00:00 +0000
Eat well, feel well: The interesting connection between mood and food! http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=9&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=9&Itemid=2

  • How mood regulates food

One thing that determines our enjoyment in life is mood. Mood changes from day to day, moment to moment. We may be happy, energized, have optimistic feelings, take part in enjoyable activities, feel loving; but we may also feel unpleasant, moody, irritable, anxious, tired and even depressed. We've all come across these feelings and have experienced the enormous impact they have on our psychological and physical wellbeing. However, as people tend to favor positivity and happiness, we try to regulate our bad moods by engaging in certain activities and routines such as eating, exercising, smoking, drinking, socializing, playing games, watching TV, etc.

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Fri, 21 Sep 2012 00:00:00 +0000
Bipolar disorder: A First Rate Madness? http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=8&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=8&Itemid=2 I recently attended one of the lovely webinars hosted by the International Bipolar Foundation. The speaker Dr Nassir Ghaemi (Professor at Tufts university) presented his book, a First Rate Madness: Mood disorders and Crisis Leadership and discussed the issue of leadership and mood disorders.

According to his talk people with mood disorders and in general mentally abnormal people make better leaders especially at times of crisis. He gave examples of many American and European political leaders who achieved "greatness" and their psychohistory suggests also had a mental disorder - in most cases a bipolar disorder.

I have trouble digesting this argument, not for personal reasons, I also love my bipolar patients and wish to think and speak well of them, but for scientific reasons.

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Thu, 16 Aug 2012 00:00:00 +0000
The UP-side of Bipolar Disorder http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=7&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=7&Itemid=2

By VALERIE KILABERIA, BSC., MSC. BIPOLARLAB JUNIOR PSYCHOLOGIST

Even though the majority of research highlights the negative aspects of bipolar disorder, it is not uncommon to listen to patients who talk warmly about their experiences.

A new study conducted by Lobban, Taylor, Murray & Jones (2012) at the University of Lancaster, UK investigated the positive experiences of people who suffer from bipolar disorder.

The participants reported that they experience many positive feelings, including intensified abilities, such as higher academic abilities; acute senses, perceptual sensitivity, focus and clarity of thought. They also reported feeling more creative and productive.

The research indicated that a sub-group of people with bipolar disorder prefers to be with the condition as they experience invaluable feelings. Some of the participants work or worked in high professional positions and provided information concerning the times when it was incredibly easy for them to work hard. They felt that they could achieve high levels of productivity and were very ambitious.

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Wed, 25 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000
How Do You Cope with Criticism? http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=6&Itemid=2 http://www.bipolarlab.com/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=6&Itemid=2

Being critical of yourself or being on the receiving end of other people’s criticism is a challenge. Add a mood disorder in the recipe and the impact of criticism becomes even more explosive.

Early research by Julian Leff at the Institute of Psychiatry and David Goldberg at UCLA on schizophrenia focused on the role of “expressed emotion” in families. They coined this term to essentially describe a negative and critical communication style that appeared to characterize many of the families who had members suffering from schizophrenia.

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Wed, 06 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000