Patients With Bipolar Disorder May Benefit From Yoga
(HealthDay News) — For individuals with bipolar disorder, yoga seems to be beneficial, with positive emotional, cognitive, and physical effects, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Practice.
Lisa A. Uebelacker, PhD, from the Butler Hospital in Providence, RI, and colleagues surveyed 109 self-identified yoga practitioners with bipolar disorder to examine the benefits and potential risks of yoga for the disorder. Eighty-six respondents provided adequate information for analysis, and positive screening criteria for a lifetime history of mania or hypomania were met by 70 participants.
The researchers found that hatha and vinyasa were the most common styles of yoga preferred by respondents. The most commonly reported effects of yoga were positive emotional effects, especially reduced anxiety; positive cognitive effects (acceptance, focus, and break from thoughts); and positive physical effects (weight loss, increased energy). Some respondents reported that yoga was significantly life changing. Physical injury and pain were the most commonly reported negative effects of yoga. Some respondents gave examples of a yoga practice that increased agitation or manic symptoms (five respondents), or times when yoga increased depression or lethargy (five respondents).
"From a clinical perspective, patients (and their clinicians) may use the information we collected to decide whether to try community yoga for themselves, and, if so, what potential risks to watch for," the authors write.