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Title: Considering a role for verbal thoughts and mental imagery in mania
Author: Ivins, Annabel M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 5176
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Bipolar disorder is a difficult disorder which can significantly impact upon an individual's physical, psychological and functional wellbeing. The progress made in developing effective psychological interventions for other severe and enduring mental health conditions is yet to be matched by advances in the psychological treatment of bipolar disorder. Two areas of emerging research have show.n promise: the association between personal goals and risk of mania; and the identification of intrusive mental imagery during the mood states defining bipolar disorder. Gaining an increased understanding of the cognitive processes involved in mania could inform the development of new treatment models for bipolar disorder. The review paper critically evaluates the literature investigating the association between personal goals and risk of mania, plus evidence for a role of future cognition in anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. The review concludes that future research should more specifically investigate the relevance of goals to a psychiatric population of individuals with bipolar disorder and that mental imagery appears to play a role in the maintenance of mood disorders. Future research endeavours should bridge the gap that is evident between these diverse fields of enquiry. The empirical paper investigates the experience of mental imagery during periods of positive mood among individuals with bipolar disorder or unipolar disorder. All participants (n=36) reported experiencing intrusive mental imagery during their last period of positive mood. The predicted differences between- and within- groups in the frequency and properties of their imagery and thoughts were not found, although trends were in the predicted direction. There was a significant difference between the groups on a measure of goal-striving. Content analysis of each participant's most significant image yielded a range of interesting findings. Despite its limitations, this study provides evidence of theoretical and clinical interest, thus further research with a larger sample size is warranted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available