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J Affect Disord. 2012 Feb;136(3):304-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.11.033. Epub 2011 Dec 10.

Temperament and personality in bipolar II disorder.

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School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, NSW, Australia.



There is limited research examining temperament and personality in bipolar II disorder. We sought to determine any over-represented temperament and personality features in bipolar II disorder compared to other affective groups.


Scores on a self-report measure of temperament and personality were examined in a sample of 443 participants diagnosed with unipolar, bipolar I and bipolar II disorder.


After controlling for age, gender, age of depression onset and current depression severity, those with bipolar II disorder were characterized by higher irritability, anxious worrying, self-criticism and interpersonal sensitivity scores, and with lower social avoidance scores compared to unipolar participants. No differences were found between bipolar sub-types on any temperament and personality sub-scales. Limitations included the lack of a control group, a relatively small sample of bipolar I participants, and with the cross-sectional design disallowing conclusions regarding premorbid personality traits as opposed to illness 'scarring' effects.


Further research should seek to clarify whether certain temperament and personality styles are over-represented in bipolar II disorder. Any over-represented characteristics may assist with diagnostic differentiation from phenomenologically similar conditions and lead to more appropriate clinical management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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