Noted above and increase risk for mood episodes clark

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noted above and increase risk for mood episodes (Clark et al., 2002; Murphy et al., 2001, 1999; Swann et al., 2004). 6.3 Psychological benefits It is important to note that not all psychological factors in ‘bipolar disorder’ involve a deficit or cost. There are many positive psychological factors associated with a bipolar diagnosis, for example increased creativity, sparks of inspiration, feelings of optimism, increased motivation and productivity. Many people with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder are very creative and high achievers( Jamison et al., 1980; Johnson, 2005). Bipolar experiences involve a mix of positive and negative psychological factors. The extent to which these factors dominate or can be harnessed depends on the coping styles used. Although some individuals with the diagnosis appear to adopt unhelpful coping styles at times, at other times they appear to use more helpful coping approaches as well. Effective coping styles may involve learning to recognise triggers or early warning signs such as sleep changes or increased agitation. Psychological therapies can help individuals enhance their use of these helpful approaches and reduce the dominance of the ruminative or risk taking styles discussed earlier. A person’s experience and behaviour is never influenced purely by one factor. Any experience involves an interaction of biological, psychological and social factors. There is a reciprocal relationship between each of these factors and the exact nature of these relationships will be unique to each individual.
Section 7: Biological factors in bipolar disorders 7.1 Genetic factors Bipolar disorder does seem to run in families, in so much as individuals with a sibling or parent who has this diagnosis are over ten times more likely to be given this diagnosis themselves than someone from an unaffected family (Mortensen, 2003). Although it is often argued that this increased likelihood may be due the presence of genetic factors it is likely to also reflect other factors that family members might share, such as the occurrence of stressful life events, the quality of their physical environment and learned ways of managing difficult experiences and feelings. To discover the extent of the genetic influence, studies try to separate biological from environmental influences. One way to do this is to study individuals with bipolar disorder who have been adopted, and to compare rates of bipolar disorder of their biological versus their adopted relatives. Another way is to study the identical or non-identical twins of people with bipolar disorder. Although researchers reporting such studies have argued for an important genetic contribution to bipolar disorder (McGuffin et al., 2003) there is an ongoing debate about the significance of genetic factors. For instance attempts to make links between particular genes and bipolar disorder are not straightforward. Section 4 outlined some of the problems with taking a diagnostic approach to bipolar disorder, and these issues have an impact on our understanding of genetic studies. If bipolar disorder is

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