INTRODUCTION: Bipolar I disorder is an illness causing mood shifts that can result in personality and character trait alterations. The relationship between mood and personality and character traits in bipolar I disorder is unclear at this time.
METHODS: We conducted a study from February 2009 to March 2010 that included 42 subjects with bipolar I disorder, which was confirmed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders. Mood was assessed via the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) and the 30-item Clinician-rated Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS-C). Temperament and character traits were assessed via the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Multivariate analysis was used to test relationships between mood and temperament and character traits with the effects of possible cofactors taken into account (eg, age, gender, medications).
RESULTS: We noted a positive correlation between YMRS scores and persistence (P = .046) and a trend toward positive correlation with novelty seeking (P = .054). There was a positive correlation between higher IDS-C scores and harm avoidance (P < .001) and a negative correlation with self-directedness scores (P < .001). Antipsychotic use was positively correlated with the character trait self-directedness (P = .008), with a trend toward a positive correlation with reward dependence (P = .056). Lithium was negatively correlated with reward dependence (P = .047) and self-transcendence (P = .028), with a trend toward a negative correlation with novelty seeking (P = .053).
CONCLUSIONS: The findings of our study suggest that some personality and character traits may vary according to mood state and medications in patients with bipolar I disorder. Prospective and longitudinal studies are required to fully characterize the relationships between personality and character traits and mood state in bipolar I disorder.
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