Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Bipolar Is Far Worse for Patients Than Unipolar. (Depressive Symptoms Disruptive)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Bipolar Is Far Worse for Patients Than Unipolar. (Depressive Symptoms Disruptive)

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bipolar disorder is markedly more severe and disruptive than unipolar depression, a national patient survey says.

The survey results also showed that the psychosocial burden of depression in bipolar patients is significantly greater than the burden of the patients' mania, Dr. Robert Hirschfeld said at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

"Depression is the bane of bipolar illness," observed Dr. Hirschfeld, professor and chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

He reported on 2,801 participants in a national epidemiologic survey who completed a self-administered series of screening tests for mood disorders. The battery consisted of the Mood Disorders Questionnaire, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, the Social Adjustment Scale-Self-Report, and the Sheehan Disability Scale.

A total of 395 participants were classified as having bipolar disorder based upon their answers to the Mood Disorders Questionnaire or a reported physician diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Another 794 subjects were classified as having unipolar depression. In addition, there were 1,612 healthy controls.

Thirty percent of bipolar participants indicated they had experienced marked or extreme disruption of their work during the previous 4 weeks.

Forty-four percent of bipolar participants said their family life had been similarly disrupted, and 42% indicated they had experienced marked or extreme disruption of their social life. …

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