Beliefs about mood swings and the experience of recovery in bipolar disorder

Alyson Dodd, Steven Jones, Fiona Lobban, Barbara Mezes

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: There is increasing evidence that cognitive and behavioural psychological processes are important in relation to bipolar disorder, particularly the ways in which people think about and respond to their experiences. This includes research on processes including positive and negative self appraisals (e.g. ‘When I feel good, I know that whatever I do, I could do no wrong’, or ‘I am a worthless person to have these type of thoughts’; Dodd et al, 2011; Jones & Day, 2008), and behavioural strategies such as risk-taking or rumination (Fisk, Dodd & Collins, 2015). Importantly, these are amenable to change in psychological interventions, and are key psychological processes targeted by Thinking Effectively About Mood Swings cognitive-behavioural therapy for bipolar disorder (Searson, Mansell, Lowens & Tai, 2012). There is also evidence that some people value some aspects of their BD (Lobban, Taylor, Murray & Jones, 2012), such as creativity and inspiration, which is linked to cognitive, behavioural and emotional processes relevant to bipolar disorder and mania risk in students (Jones, Dodd & Gruber, 2014). Additionally, there is increasing evidence that people with BD value improved quality of life and functional outcomes, as well as reduced relapse and symptoms, in relation to psychological interventions (Jones et al, 2013). With this in mind, the Bipolar Recovery Questionnaire (Jones et al, 2013) was developed to measure these experiences, in collaboration with service users. This is important so that novel interventions can be evaluated with respect to outcomes that are valued by individual service users. This research has evaluated associations between positive and negative cognitive styles, emotion regulation strategies, mood and recovery among individuals with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.Method: Individuals with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder (n = 140) completed measures relating to appraisals of internal states, beliefs about mood swings, emotion regulation strategies, mood and recovery via a cross-sectional survey.Results: Data collection was completed as of March 2015. Hierarchical multiple regression will be used to explore associations between these cognitive and behavioural processes and outcomes (mood and recovery).Conclusions: Findings will be discussed in relation to existing theory and evidence about the psychological processes underlying the development and maintenance of bipolar disorder. The study has explored the role of cognitive styles not yet investigated in a diagnosed bipolar sample, such as inspiration and positive beliefs about mood swings. Another novel aspect of this research has been the investigation of associations between cognitive styles, emotion regulation strategies and personal recovery in bipolar disorder. This is important to assess clinical validity and aid the development of new psychological models and interventions. These measures have the potential for clinical use in formulation, assessing the process of change in interventions, and utilising outcome variables important for service users (such as recovery).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
EventAssociation for Behavioural & Cognitive Therapies 49th Annual Convention - Chicago, USA
Duration: 1 Nov 2015 → …

Conference

ConferenceAssociation for Behavioural & Cognitive Therapies 49th Annual Convention
Period1/11/15 → …

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