New perspectives on coping in bipolar disorder

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Grassi-oliveira, Rodrigo
Daruy-filho, Ledo
Brietzke, Elisa [UNIFESP]
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Bipolar disorder (BD) is a prevalent and highly disabling psychiatric condition. Despite the widely acknowledged importance of psychosocial interventions that involve a complex cognitive, behavioral, and biological process to help patients cope better with their illness, few studies have systematically evaluated coping in BD. Therefore, our objective was to examine recent developments in current research on coping in BD. Several studies have documented a strong association between BD and numerous neuroanatomical and neuropsychological abnormalities, particularly multiple episodes and longer durations of the disorder. The most marked effects of BD encompass brain areas involved in executive function, which may affect the mechanisms underlying an adequate selection of coping strategies. Thus, the ability of individuals to reduce their own stress burden is impaired, increasing vulnerability to stressful life events and negatively affecting the course of BD. Psychosocial interventions that focus on BD should be evaluated for their ability to improve coping abilities, and research on BD should consider neuropsychological impairment and cognitive-behavioral strategies for coping with stress.
Psychology & Neuroscience. Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de JaneiroUniversidade de BrasíliaUniversidade de São Paulo, v. 3, n. 2, p. 161-165, 2010.