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Mindfulness Has Positive Impact on Bipolar Illness

05 Dec

Researchers from King's College and the Institute of Psychiatry performed a qualitative study to explore how practicing mindfulness related to living with and managing bipolar illness.

Qualitative methodology was used to explore the experiences of 12 people with bipolar illness who had been practicing mindfulness for at least 18 weeks. Semi-structured interviews exploring how the practice of mindfulness meditation affected their living with their condition were recorded verbatim, transcribed, and then analyzed using thematic analysis.
Seven themes emerged: (1) Focusing on what is present; (2) clearer awareness of mood state and changes therein; (3) acceptance; (4) mindfulness practice in different mood states; (5) reducing/stabilizing negative affect; (6) relating differently to negative thoughts; and (7) reducing the impact of the mood state.

All participants reported receiving subjective benefits from practicing mindfulness, as well as challenges in doing this practice, and gave insights into their processes of change.

Citation:  Chadwick P, Kaur H, Swelam M, Ross S, Ellett L. Experience of mindfulness in people with bipolar disorder: a qualitative study. Psychotherapy Research. 2011 May;21 (3) pages :277-85. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award