Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (ISRT) or simply Social rhythm therapy is a type of behavioral therapy used to treat the disruption in circadian rhythms that is related to bipolar disorder. ISRT provides a biopsychosocial model for bipolar disorder and recognizes that the illness cannot be fully treated with medication alone, although it is biologically based. It postulates that stressful events, disruptions in circadian rhythms and personal relationships, and conflicts arising out of difficulty in social adjustment often lead to relapses.

The idea was developed by Ellen Frank at the University of Pittsburgh who published a book on her theories: Treating Bipolar Disorder, a Clinician's Guide Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy. She found that solving interpersonal problems and maintaining regular daily rhythms in activities such as sleeping, waking, eating, and exercise can increase quality of life, reduce symptoms, and help prevent relapse. In most cases, the patients continue to receive medications.

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