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Clin Psychol Rev. 2005 Dec;25(8):1028-42. Epub 2005 Aug 24.

Prodromes, coping strategies and psychological interventions in bipolar disorders.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London London, UK.


Bipolar disorder is known to be highly recurrent and people with bipolar illnesses often experience high degrees of interpersonal and social impairment. The emergence of prodromal symptoms not only causes distress but may also predispose patients to greater risk of a full relapse. Studies have found that patients can report prodromes reliably. Common mania prodromes include decreased need for sleep, increased activities, being more sociable and racing thoughts while common depression prodromes are loss of interest, not being able to put worries aside and interrupted sleep. Furthermore, patients' coping with prodromal symptoms predicted relapses in bipolar disorder. These findings have led to a handful of randomized controlled studies which aimed at teaching patients relevant and adaptive coping strategies in dealing with bipolar prodromes as part of the intervention strategies and the results are very encouraging. The packages in these studies are of different complexity. The mode of intervention also varied from individual work, group work to family work. This paper also examines the differential effects of these interventions.

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