December 15, 2016 • Volume 9, Issue 55 • Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines
Rude drivers. Pushy shoppers. Kids who just won’t pick up after themselves. What’s on your list of pet peeves? And more importantly, does your “rage response” escalate as your mood tilts?
Being easily annoyed or provoked to anger can be a defining quality in mania, on par with elated or expansive mood. Irritability has also been strongly associated with low and mixed moods.
In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Bipolar Disorders this month found a pattern of more severe and more frequently recurring episodes of bipolar depression in individuals who scored higher on an irritability scale.
In a separate paper published in August 2016, the Stanford University School of Medicine researchers also reported a “robust” link between irritability and anxiety in individuals with bipolar I and bipolar II, regardless of mood state. That’s certainly the case for Richard W., who gets a cranky-panicky symptom combo when his mood is veering off track.
When Richard starts to worry obsessively and get panic attacks, he’s more snappish during daily interactions. Sometimes that leads to trouble, like the time he yelled at another driver who then followed him for several miles before Richard shook free.
Heightened irritability created issues with co-workers for Terry T. She makes a point of apologizing when she realizes she’s been too harsh, but there was a time when her boss called her on behavior she wasn’t even aware of.
Terry has learned to recognize that prickly, ready-to-detonate feeling as a signal that she may be shifting off-balance and needs to deploy countermeasures.
Recent research: Progress toward personalized treatments
Newswise, November 10, 2016—Brain imaging scans may one day provide useful information on the response to psychotherapy in patients with brain-based psychiatric disorders, according to a review of current research in the November/December issue of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry.
Studies show promising initial evidence that specific “neuroimaging markers” might help in predicting the chances of a good response to psychotherapy, or choosing between psychotherapy or medications, in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other diagnoses. Read more >>
VIDEO: Bipolar and Maintaining a High Functioning Lifestyle
Living with bipolar can be very challenging but it is possible to develop the tools to maintain a high-functioning lifestyle. Watch Karl Shallowhorn’s video blog >>
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