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J Affect Disord. 2005 Mar;85(1-2):207-15.

Temperamental commonalities and differences in euthymic mood disorder patients, creative controls, and healthy controls.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, 401 Quarry Road, Room 2350, Stanford, CA 94305-5723, USA.



Understanding of mood disorders can be enhanced through assessment of temperamental traits. We explored temperamental commonalities and differences among euthymic bipolar (BP) and unipolar (MDD) mood disorder patients, creative discipline graduate student controls (CC), and healthy controls (HC).


Forty-nine BP, 25 MDD, 32 CC, and 47 HC completed self-report temperament/personality measures including: The Affective Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS-A); the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R); and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI).


Euthymic BP, MDD, and CC, compared to HC, had significantly increased cyclothymia, dysthymia and irritability scores on TEMPS-A; increased neuroticism and decreased conscientiousness on NEO-PI-R; and increased harm avoidance and novelty seeking as well as decreased self-directedness on TCI. TEMPS-A cyclothymia scores were significantly higher in BP than in MDD. NEO-PI-R openness was increased in BP and CC, compared to HC, and in CC compared to MDD. TCI self-transcendence scores in BP were significantly higher than in MDD, CC, and HC.


Most of the subjects were not professional artists, and represented many fields; temperament might be different in different art fields.


Euthymic BP, MDD, and CC compared to HC, had prominent temperamental commonalities. However, BP and CC had the additional commonality of increased openness compared to HC. BP had particularly high Cyclothymia scores that were significantly higher then those of MDD. The prominent BP-CC overlap suggests underlying neurobiological commonalities between people with mood disorders and individuals involved in creative disciplines, consistent with the notion of a temperamental contribution to enhanced creativity in individuals with bipolar disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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