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J Affect Disord. 2009 May;115(1-2):252-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2008.08.001. Epub 2008 Sep 11.

Clinical correlates of depersonalization symptoms in patients with bipolar disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biotechnologies, University of Pisa, Italy.



Prevalence and clinical correlates of dissociative symptoms in general, and depersonalization (DP) in particular, in patients with mood disorders have received limited attention in the literature. Nevertheless, the identification of these symptoms may have important implications in terms of a better definition of clinical endophenotypes. Thus, this study aimed at investigating frequency and clinical correlates of dissociative symptoms, with special attention to DP symptoms, in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) looking specifically at differences between BD-I and BD-II and the comorbidity with panic disorder.


The study sample included 91 adult patients with BD (BD-I=43; BD-II=48) assessed with the Semi-structured Clinical Interview for Temperament (TEMPS-I), the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) and the Structured Clinical Interview for Depersonalization-Derealization Spectrum (SCI-DER).


There was no difference in lifetime dissociative experiences or DP symptoms between BD-I and BD-II patients. There was no difference in relation to temperament characteristics. Lifetime DP symptoms, as assessed with the SCI-DER, were associated to an early onset of the BD (beta=-0.436, t=-4.572, p<0.001). Derealization symptoms correlated with panic disorder comorbidity (OR=1.22; 95%CI=1.03-1.46, Wald=5.177, p=0.023).


Our study suggests that lifetime DP symptoms are correlated with an early onset of the BD and derealization symptoms with panic disorder comorbidity, bearing the opportunity to identify patients with a specific profile for a better clinical and neurobiological definition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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