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June 21, 2005

Bipolar I and II cope differently w/ Mania

A study has come out that directs its attention at the different coping styles of those who have bipolar I disorder versus those who have bipolar II disorder. What was specifically looked at was how they cope with the prodromal symptoms that they have prior to a manic episode. Prodromal symptoms are experienced prior to an attack, and signal the onset of it, much like a warning sign. Psychiatrists would find this information useful when figuring out how to treat and give therapy to those with bipolar disorder.

The Coping Inventory for Prodromes of Mania (CIPM) was used to understand how each bipolar individual reacted to the onset of a manic episode. 184 patients with bipolar disorder took the inventory, 133 had bipolar I disorder and 51 had bipolar II disorder.

"The 40-item CIPM contained both adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies and consisted of four factors:

*stimulation reduction (for example, "avoided being with people")
*problem-directed coping (for example, "tried to monitor and restrain my behavior")
*seeking professional help (for example, "started my medication again")
*denial or blame (for example, "hoped the symptoms would go away")" (Moyer, 2005).

The coping styles preferred by the two groups differed remarkably, and with good reason. Bipolar I disorder alternates between severe manic episodes and less severe depression, whereas bipolar II disorder alternates from severe depression to hypomania (less severe manic symptoms). "The most favored choice for those with bipolar I was seeking help, and the most favored choice among those with bipolar II was denial and blame, said Mr. Velyvis. "Considering that bipolar I patients are more likely to experience the more severe consequence of full mania, it is understandable that they would want to reach out and ward it off," Mr. Velyvis said. 'Those with bipolar II, who typically have hypomania, which has less risk, are more tempted to ride the wave more.'" (Moyer, 2005).

This information will greatly help therapists who are determining how to best treat their patients. It is important for any therapist to know the differences between Bipolar I and II disorder and all of the details that separate them. Coping with the onset of mania is something that all bipolar patients have to deal with and making sure that they have a good coping strategy can ensure their mental well-being.

For more information on coping with bipolar disorder go to: http://www.moodswing.org/bpcoping.htm

The source of this article was Medscape Medical News.

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