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November 12, 2007

Discussion: Research Findings on the Psychological Causes and Treatments of Bipolar Disorder

We've covered past research that demonstrates how high levels of certain kinds of expressed emotion have negative effects on the mental health of children. Recently, researchers at the University of Colorado discussed current research supporting this past research on bipolar disorder. A new story highlights their findings:

  • Bipolar disorder is "a highly recurrent and debilitating illness." Research has demonstrated that certain types of expressed-emotion affect the development of bipolar disorder. Basically, certain negative attitudes in the home or from peers (such as critical ones, i.e., criticism) can increase not only the risk of developing bipolar disorder, but also the risk of relapsing after development. [Read More About the Effects of Expressed Emotion Here.]
  • Symptoms of bipolar disorder are primarily treated by medication but can also benefit from simultaneous therapy. Past research has demonstrated that a combination of family-focused therapy and medications can "...delay...relapses and reduce... symptom severity among patients followed over the course of 1 to 2 years..." [Read More About Family-Focused Therapy Here.]
  • The researchers further stated that the effectiveness of family-focused therapy on delaying the development and relapse of bipolar disorder, specifically in the case of adolescents and children at high risk for the illness, are currently being investigated.

    This discussion of up-to-date research findings brings up the important psychological factors at play in the development of mental illness in children and adolescents. Knowledge about these factors is essential to preventing the possible development or relapse of bipolar disorder.

    Related Reading: CU professor to pioneer new bipolar disorder study

    Listen to this Podcast (audio recording): Click on the following link and then scroll down to the podcast named: BIPOLAR DISORDER; Scientists at University of Colorado discuss research in bipolar disorder.


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