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Psychological interventions for early stage bipolar disorder 

Psychological interventions for early stage bipolar disorder
Psychological interventions for early stage bipolar disorder

Jan Scott

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date: 28 June 2022

Clinical staging and early intervention models used in psychosis and depression have only recently been applied to individuals ‘at risk’ of bipolar disorder (BD), or experiencing a first episode of BD. This chapter briefly discusses the concept of staging and then reviews ongoing research into the adaptation and use of psychological interventions in ‘at risk’ and ‘first BD episode’ populations. Evidence indicates that the current interventions may not sufficiently target specific developmentally normal changes in cognitive–emotional and sleep–circadian regulation systems that may act as triggers for mood episodes. So the chapter discusses how to tackle these ‘dysregulations’ and how to ensure any ‘early stage’ therapy is sufficiently flexible to tackle the range of problems experienced, including mood symptoms, harmful alcohol or substance use, and/or co-morbid physical ill-health and that the therapy models must take into account that not all individuals in high-risk populations actually develop BD.

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