The Early Relapse Prevention approach aims to help people with Bipolar experiences to recognise and manage mood changes in order to reduce the occurrence and severity of relapses. ERP aims to help you to gain more control over your moods and the impact that mood has on your life. The ERP approach has been shown to be effective when offered face to face. ERPonline offers the same information and ideas but in a website.
The key elements of ERP are:
- Recognising your different moods
- Understanding what influences your moods
- Identifying TRIGGERS for changes in mood. These are specific types of events or situations that may be associated with your mood changes. Being aware of these can help you to manage these situations better.
- Identifying EARLY WARNING SIGNS (EWSs) of relapse. EWS are small changes in behaviour, thoughts, or feelings that occur a few weeks or even months before a relapse. They are very individual and different for everyone. However, for any one individual, they do tend to be similar across different relapses. Therefore they can act as an important warning sign to take some steps to manage your mood. By doing this, you can prevent a relapse occurring
- Strategies to manage EARLY WARNING SIGNS of relapse. Once you have learnt to recognise EWS, you can develop strategies to deal with them. It is much easier to manage our mood changes in the early stages – but it gets a lot harder the further the mood changes progress
- Developing an ERP PLAN to manage mood changes. This includes how to apply each of the above elements to your everyday life and how to integrate this with any other treatment / support you may be receiving. Hopefully this will reduce the occurrence of relapses.