Can feeling too good be bad? Positive emotions in bipolar disorder
(Medical Xpress) -- Positive emotions like joy and compassion are good for your mental and physical health, and help foster creativity and friendship. But people with bipolar disorder seem to have too much of a good thing. In a new article to be published in the August issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, psychologist June Gruber of Yale University considers how positive emotion may become negative in bipolar disorder.
One of the characteristics of bipolar disorder is the extreme periods of positive mood, or mania. People in the grip of mania also have increased energy, sleep less, and experience extreme self-confidence. At first glance, this may sound good and even desirable. However, during these times of mania, people with bipolar disorder often take dangerous risks, run up their credit card debt, and wreak havoc in marriages. The fact that positive emotion has gone awry is something unique about bipolar disorder, as almost all other emotional disorders are characterized by difficulties in negative emotions Gruber says
Gruber points out that positive emotions are problematic for people with bipolar disorder even when theyre not experiencing mania. Gruber has studied people whose bipolar disorder is in remission and found that they still experience more positive emotions than people who have never had bipolar disorder. More positive emotions may not sound like a bad thing, but there are times when these positive emotions arent appropriate. In our work, those with bipolar disorder continue to report greater positive emotions whether its a positive film, very sad film clip of a child crying over his fathers death, and even disgusting films involving someone digging through feces she says. In more recent work Gruber and her colleagues have found they still feel good even if a close romantic partner tells them something sad face to face, they still feel good. Its rose-colored glasses gone too far.
Clinical psychologists may also be able to use this research to figure out who with bipolar disorder is likely to relapse; people who have a lot of positive emotions, even at inappropriate times, may provide a window into possible early warning signs, Gruber says. This high level of positive emotion might even be used to predict who develops bipolar disorder. In a study of healthy college students who had never been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Gruber found that those who showed these same high levels of positive emotions that persisted across positive, negative and neutral situations at higher risk for bipolar disorder.
But not all emotions are alike in bipolar disorder; in fact, they seem to have particular kinds of positive emotions. They report feeling more achievement and self-focused emotions like pride and rewarding feelings like joy. They dont differ social emotions that connect us with others, like love and compassion. This mirrors early clinical observations and more recent scientific work, Gruber saysthat people with bipolar disorder set very high, ambitious goals, are sensitive to rewards, and in periods of mania, some believe they have special powers.
Psychologists should also consider that there are downsides of positive emotions even for people who dont have bipolar disorder, Gruber says. Although positive emotions are generally good for us, when they take extreme forms or when theyre experienced in the wrong context, the benefits of positive emotion begin to unravel, she says. The goal: experience it in moderation, in the right place and time.
More information: cdp.sagepub.com/
Provided by Association for Psychological Science
- Happiness has a dark side May 16, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Bipolar disorder impacts workforce Sep 01, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Children of bipolar parents more creative Nov 09, 2005 | not rated yet | 0
- Having parents with bipolar disorder associated with increased risk of psychiatric disorders Mar 02, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- New gene linked to bipolar disorder Oct 03, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
8 hours ago Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Youth who had a schoolmate die by suicide are significantly more likely to consider or attempt suicide, according to a study in published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). This effect can last 2 years or mo ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered specific chemical alterations in two genes that, when present during pregnancy, reliably predict whether a woman will develop postpartum depression.
Psychology & Psychiatry 10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts seems to improve the brain power of older people better than advising them to follow a low-fat diet, indicates research published online in the Journal of ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 20 hours ago | 3.5 / 5 (2) | 2
More people are being diagnosed with eating disorders every year and the most common type is not either of the two most well known—bulimia or anorexia—but eating disorders not otherwise specified (eating disorders that ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 20 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Turns out, that old "practice makes perfect" adage may be overblown. New research led by Michigan State University's Zach Hambrick finds that a copious amount of practice is not enough to explain why people ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 21 hours ago | 3.3 / 5 (12) | 0 |
Researchers at USC have found that a class of pharmaceuticals can both prevent and treat Alzheimer's Disease in mice.
39 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The decision to limit life support in patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) appears to be significantly influenced by physician practices and/or the culture of the hospital, suggests new findings from researchers at the ...
57 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Children with obstructive sleep apnea who had a common surgery to remove their tonsils and adenoids showed notable improvements in behavior, quality of life and other symptoms compared to those treated with "watchful waiting" ...
57 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
3 hours ago | 4 / 5 (3) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
1 hour ago | 4.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
3 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |