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Thrive B trial

The ThrIVe-B trial is recruiting Devon people who have Bipolar or Cyclothymic Disorder

World Bipolar Day: University working on new treatments

Exeter experts are working on new treatments for Bipolar Disorders this World Bipolar Day (30 March).

A team from the University of Exeter are researching the psychological processes that might contribute to mood swings and investigating new treatments within the local community.

In the “high” states, those with Bipolar can go with little or no sleep and may be particularly talkative or easily distracted.

They may even act quite differently to usual, for example being extremely active, or engaging in risky behaviours such as spending sprees, substance use or affairs.

The actress Carrie Fisher reported suffering from Bipolar, as has actor Stephen Fry, who walked out of a starring role in a West End play in 1995 and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder on his return.

As well as “high” periods, the person can fall into periods of a depression, where they can feel low in mood, overly tired, pessimistic and find it hard to concentrate.

“These conditions can have a big impact on the lives of people who experience them, and also upon the people they are close to” said Dr Kim Wright, of the University of Exeter.

 “The University of Exeter is one of the places in the country that specialises in research into talking therapies for people with mood disorders, including Bipolar Disorders.”

Around three to four in 100 adults are affected by a Bipolar spectrum condition at some point in their life.

Part of this work is the ThrIVe-B trial, which is recruiting people who have Bipolar or Cyclothymic Disorder and live in Devon.

Previous research has shown that a talking treatment called dialectical behaviour therapy has been useful for mood swings in patients with other disorders – and this has been adapted by Exeter researchers specifically for those with mood instability in Bipolar Disorder.

Participants in the ThrIVe-B study must:

  • Be 18 or over
  • Have a diagnosis or possible diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder or Cyclothymic Disorder
  • Be troubled by frequent mood swings
  • Be registered with a GP in our study area: you can check whether your GP practice falls into the study area by contacting us

The researchers will not be able to include people who are currently receiving another psychological therapy for Bipolar Disorder, who are receiving on-going co-ordinated care in secondary mental health services or have current drug or alcohol dependence.

The ThrIVe-B programme will involve participants attending 15 weekly group meetings and eight fortnightly individual sessions, which can be delivered in person or by telephone, as well as continuing standard NHS care.

The programme also includes a mood app which is designed to help users notice changes in mood and respond to them in helpful ways.

It is important to note that participants will have a 50% chance of being randomly assigned to the THrIVe-B therapy programme and a 50% chance of receiving their usual NHS care.

For more information, email Kim Wright or Lexy Newbold at or telephone 01392 724669.

To find out more about Bipolar in general, visit the Bipolar UK website at:

Date: 29 March 2018

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