Experiences of Anxiety in Bipolar Disorder

Anxiety comorbidity in bipolar disorder is highly prevalent and is associated with early age of onset of bipolar disorder, poorer treatment response, less days well, poorer functioning and quality of life, and increased suicidality.

Although it is clear that anxiety has an important impact on bipolar disorder and outcome, the exact nature of the relationship between the two is still relatively unclear. This PhD aims to explore the complicated nature of this relationship in order to inform future interventions in bipolar-anxiety.

In order to understand what people with bipolar disorder worry about, individuals were invited to take part in a short interview which explored the physical and psychological experience of anxiety, and the impact this has had on important life domains.

The second phase of this research aims to understand the relationship between anxiety and bipolar disorder using experience sampling methodology and comparing experiences between individuals with bipolar disorder, individuals with high Hypomanic Personality Scores and control participants. This study will be recruiting later this year.

The final stages of this research will explore anxiety and mood symptoms over time in a bipolar population and in an analogue student sample, to examine if anxiety is a predictor of outcome prospectively for these individuals and to explore the hypothesis that anxiety symptoms are a potential risk factor for the experience of mood episodes.

For more information, please contact Kay Hampshire at k.hampshire@lancaster.ac.uk.

Get involved

We welcome interest from individuals who have experienced bipolar mood fluctuations, their relatives, friends, partners, carers as well as individuals who are interested in mental health research but have not experienced mental illness. Volunteers are vital for improving our understanding about the experience and management of Bipolar Disorder.

If you would like to find out more about Spectrum Centre research and get involved, visit Spectrum Connect.

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