Although life stress has been shown to trigger relapse in bipolar disorder, little is known about how bipolar patients perceive daily hassles or their positive counterparts, uplifts. We used the experience sampling method to investigate the daily experience of hassles and uplifts in 38 patients with remitted bipolar disorder and 38 healthy controls. Largely because of current unemployment, patients were more often alone and at home and spent less time working and more time in passive leisure activities. Contrary to expectations, the groups did not differ in total frequencies or appraisals of events. Within the patient group, however, those patients with current depressive symptoms and more previous depressive episodes experienced negative events as more stressful. These findings are consistent with hypothesized processes linking depressive symptoms to the generation of stressful conditions or to the reactivation of negative cognitive schemas.
Havermans, R. C., Nicolson, N. A., & de Vries, M. W. (2007). Daily hassles, uplifts, and time use in individuals with bipolar disorder in remission. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 195(9), 745-751. https://doi.org/10.1097/NMD.0b013e318142cbf0