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Mental imagery as an emotional amplifier: Application to bipolar disorder
Univ Oxford, Dept Psychiat, Warneford Hosp, Oxford OX3 7JX, England.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7319-3112
Univ Oxford, Dept Psychiat, Warneford Hosp, Oxford OX3 7JX, England.
CIBERSAM, IDIBAPS, Bipolar Disorders Program, Inst Neurosci,Hosp Clin, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9516-9030
Univ Oxford, Dept Psychiat, Warneford Hosp, Oxford OX3 7JX, England.
2008 (English)In: Behaviour Research and Therapy, ISSN 0005-7967, E-ISSN 1873-622X, Vol. 46, no 12, p. 1251-1258Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cognitions in the form of mental images have a more powerful impact on emotion than their verbal counterparts. This review synthesizes the cognitive science of imagery and emotion with transdiagnostic clinical research, yielding novel predictions for the basis of emotional volatility in bipolar disorder. Anxiety is extremely common in patients with bipolar disorder and is associated with increased dysfunction and suicidality, yet it is poorly under stood and rarely treated. Mental imagery is a neglected aspect of bipolar anxiety although in anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder and social phobia focusing on imagery has been Crucial for the development of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). In this review we present a cognitive model of imagery and emotion applied to bipolar disorder. Within this model mental imagery amplifies emotion, drawing on Clark's cyclical panic model [(1986). A cognitive approach to panic. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 24, 461-470]. We (1) emphasise imagery's amplification of anxiety (cycle one): (2) suggest that imagery amplifies the defining (hypo-) mania of bipolar disorder (cycle two), whereby the overly positive misinterpretation of triggers leads to mood elevation (escalated by imagery), increasing associated beliefs, goals, and action likelihood (all strengthened by imagery). Imagery suggests a unifying explanation for key unexplained features of bipolar disorder: ubiquitous anxiety, mood instability and creativity. Introducing imagery has novel implications for bipolar treatment innovation - an area where CBT improvements are much-needed. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD , 2008. Vol. 46, no 12, p. 1251-1258
Keywords [en]
Mental imagery, Emotion, Bipolar disorder, Anxiety, Imagery rescripting, Prospection, Future thinking
National Category
Psychiatry Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-405681DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2008.09.005ISI: 000261754500001PubMedID: 18990364OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-405681DiVA, id: diva2:1405550
Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2020-02-28

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