Study Proves Patients Can Control Their Mania.

Australian researchers at the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria claim they have developed a treatment for bipolar patients that can cut in half the number of manic episodes experienced by a bipolar sufferer.

The program involved 84 volunteers. Half of them were given medication alone. The remaining half were given medication but also received weekly therapy sessions targeted towards teaching them to recognize the early warning signs of a manic or depressive episode. The theory is that if you are aware enough to be able to recognize an oncoming attack you can do something about it. And the researchers theory seems to have been correct.

"After 12 months, those on the intervention program had half the number of relapses as the control group who received medication but no therapy," Professor Castle said. "Those in the intervention group experienced no manic episodes."

Participants in the study were taught strategies and techniques to prevent the onset of an episode, including increasing medication, resting, avoiding stress and alerting a support network of family and friends.

They also kept "Volunteers kept a diary system that allows them to have specific plans to address episodes and collaborative partners to help them," Professor Castle said.

Participants who have since left the program claim to have not had a major episode since they began the program and say that the treatment has changed their lives.

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