Author(s): Benazzi F
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: While Mixed Depression (i.e. depression plus subthreshold concurrent manic/hypomanic symptoms) has recently seen a wave of studies, little is known about Dysphoric/Mixed Hypomania (i.e. combination of syndromal hypomania and depression) compared to Bipolar I Disorder Mixed State (i.e. combination of syndromal mania and depression). STUDY AIM: To delineate the clinical picture of Dysphoric/Mixed Hypomania. METHODS: Consecutive 441 Bipolar II Disorder (BP-II) Major Depressive Episode (MDE) outpatients were cross-sectionally assessed for depression and concurrent hypomanic symptoms when presenting for treatment of depression, by a mood disorder specialist psychiatrist (FB), using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, in a private practice. Consecutive 275 remitted BP-II were also assessed for the clinical picture of past (recalled) Hypomania. Dysphoric Hypomania was defined as the co-occurrence of DSM-IV irritable mood Hypomania and MDE. RESULTS: Frequency of Dysphoric Hypomania was 17.0\%, and it was 66.4\% for Mixed Depression. Irritable mood, always present by definition in Dysphoric Hypomania, was present in 65.9\% of recalled Hypomania and elevated mood in 81.4\%. Dysphoric Hypomania had significantly more racing/crowded thoughts, and much less increased goal-directed activity. Functioning was always impaired in Dysphoric Hypomania (by definition), while it was improved in most recalled Hypomanias. Factor structure was different: recalled Hypomania had three factors ('elevated mood', 'irritability and racing/crowded thoughts', 'goal-directed and risky overactivity'), Dysphoric Hypomania had five factors ('depressive vegetative symptoms', 'low mood and psychomotor agitation', 'risky activities', 'loss of interest', 'racing/crowded thoughts and suicidality'). DISCUSSION: Dysphoric Hypomania was uncommon among depressed outpatients (while Mixed Depression was common). Its clinical picture was closer to depression than to hypomania. If it were seen as a simple depression, antidepressants could be used alone (i.e. not protected by mood stabilising agents), risking the worsening of intra-depression irritable hypomania (which was related to suicidality). Systematic assessment of intra-depression hypomanic symptoms is supported.
This article was published in Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy