Interpersonal and Social Rhythms Therapy (IPSRT)

What is IPSRT?

IPSRT was developed as a treatment for mood disorders. The interpersonal elements of the modality are based on Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) for depression which focuses on the relationship between mood and life events. IPT also emphasizes strategies to improve social support and relationships. The social rhythm elements of the modality come from the connection between daily routine or rhythm disruptions and mood destabilization.

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy is based on the idea that inconsistency in our routines such as eating, sleeping, circadian rhythm and other daily activities may provoke or exacerbate symptoms of a mood disorder. The goal is to use both IPT and social rhythms to promote the maintenance of healthy routines. Tracking tools can also be a vital part of IPSRT. Tracking can help to understand information about your habits and allow you to monitor changes in your rhythms and relationships. These tracking tools include the Interpersonal Inventory and Social Rhythm Metric.

Bipolar Disorder Criteria:

Try to avoid the temptation to self-diagnose. We’re highly complex beings! I recommend having a professional provide a diagnosis.

Bipolar Disorder is the presence of a manic or hypomanic (think: less intense version of mania). Bipolar Type 1 consists of either only a manic episode or both a manic and depressive episode. Bipolar Type 2 consists of both a hypomanic and depressive episode. Below are the symptoms of manic and depressive episodes.

Manic Episode

A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy
1. Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity.
2. Decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep).
3. More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking.
4. Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing.
5. Distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli), as reported or observed.
7. Excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments).

Major Depressive Episode

At least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.

1. Depressed (e.g., feels sad, empty, hopeless, or appears tearful).
2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (i.e., anhedonia).
3. Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or change in appetite.
4. Insomnia or hypersomnia.
5. Observable changes in movement (decrease or increase).
6. Fatigue or loss of energy.
7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt.
8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness.
9. Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

For more information on IPSRT, click here.