0
Article |

Switching From 'Unipolar' to Bipolar II:  An 11-Year Prospective Study of Clinical and Temperamental Predictors in 559 Patients

Hagop S. Akiskal, MD; Jack D. Maser, PhD; Pamela J. Zeller, PhD; Jean Endicott, PhD; William Coryell, MD; Martin Keller, MD; Meredith Warshaw, MS; Paula Clayton, MD; Frederick Goodwin, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1995;52(2):114-123. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1995.03950140032004.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Background:  Given the therapeutic and prognostic importance of the unipolar-bipolar dichotomy, predicting which patients will become bipolar subsequent to index diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD) is of paramount clinical significance. We sought to characterize the profile of patients with MDD who would convert to the more subtle bipolar subtype (known as BPII) on the basis of clinical and personality variables obtained during MDD episodes.

Methods:  A total of 559 patients, comprehensively evaluated with the Schedule of Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia and "unipolar" MDD at entry, were administered 17 self-report personality measures. Hypomanic and manic episodes were systematically recorded over a prospective observation period of up to 11 years. We compared 48 converters to BPII (8.6%) with 22 converters to bipolar I (BPI) (3.9%) and the remaining larger group of unipolar patients.

Results:  Except for greater acuteness, severity, and psychotic symptomatology, BPI converters were essentially similar to MDD nonconverters. By contrast, BPII converters were robustly distinguished from those with MDD who remained unipolar on the basis of self-report measures along the newly derived factors of Mood Lability, Energy-Activity, and Daydreaming. This profile was associated with early age at onset of MDD and pleomorphic psychopathology beyond the usual affective realm, high rates of substance abuse, as well as educational, marital, and occupational disruption and minor antisocial acts prior to discrete hypomanic episodes. Overall, BPII switchers had a more protracted and tempestuous course with shorter well intervals. "Habitual self" descriptions of temperamental instability during MDD episodes provided useful clinical information for predicting which depressed patients will switch to BPII, attaining a sensitivity of 91% for all three factors combined (23 items); Mood Lability alone (nine items) was the most specific predictor (86%), though of lower sensitivity (42%).

Conclusions:  The BPII subtype is best understood by such lability intruding into, and possibly its accentuation during, depressive episodes, thereby creating an intimate interweaving of trait and state. Clinicians must note that the foregoing temperamental profile appears more fundamental in defining the affective dysregulation of the BPII subtype than hypomanic episodes emphasized in DSM-IV.

Topics

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

Figures

Tables

References

Correspondence

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();