December 22, 2016 • Volume 9, Issue 56 • Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines
When bipolar depression descends, elements of faith may provide a lifeline through hopelessness.
Scientific evidence is building that people with bipolar disorder who have some type of spirituality in their lives—whether from organized religion, prayer, meditation, art, or being in nature—recover more quickly from depressive episodes.
In a study that appears in the January 2017 issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers at the University of California at San Diego found that spirituality was linked with other positive characteristics such as persistence and humor in a subgroup of individuals with bipolar I. That contrasted with a subgroup identified by characteristics of depression and anxiety.
Spirituality often provides a sense of purpose in life and a rationale for why things happen the way they do. For many celebrating the birth of Jesus this month, the story of Christ’s suffering gives comfort, hope, and the promise of God’s love.
Joining a faith community offers opportunities to build social connections. And according to a 2015 Italian study, religion appears to be a protective factor among people with bipolar I when it comes to suicidal behavior.
Columnist Karl Shallowhorn reports that prayer helps him stay motivated to do the hard work of managing his bipolar. He also meditates and attends church regularly.
“I do not proselytize or pressure other people … the key is to find what works for you,” explains Shallowhorn. What works for him is to “practice spiritual principles in the areas of self-care, God, society, and service.”
Recent research: Probiotics may moderate stress response
November 21, 2016—Can consuming beneficial bacteria help you stay calm? It appears to work for zebrafish, according to University of Missouri researchers. “Zebrafish are an emerging model species for neurobehavioral studies and their use is well-established in drug-screening,” explains Aaron Ericsson, PhD, DVM, director of the MU Metagenomics Center.
In this study, a group of the tropical minnows received Lactobacillus plantarum, a common bacteria found in yogurt and probiotic supplements. That group displayed fewer stress-associated behaviors when subjected to overcrowding, and genetic analysis showed a reduction in the metabolic pathways associated with stress. Read more >>
VIDEO: My Bipolar Brain—Constant Conversations in my Head
Living with bipolar disorder, I often find that thoughts will pop in my head, mostly negative, about experiences I have had. And I will have a conversation about this experience in my own head. Watch Dave Mowry’s video blog >>
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community