A continuity between bipolar II depression and major depressive disorder?
by
Benazzi F.
Hecker Psychiatry Research Center, Forli, Italy;
University of California at San Diego (USA) Collaborating Center, United States;
Department of Psychiatry, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary;
Department of Psychiatry, National Health Service, Forli, Italy.
Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2006 May 6;


ABSTRACT

B BACKGROUND: A recent series of studies has questioned the current categorical split of mood disorders into bipolar and depressive disorders. Mixed states, especially mixed depression (i.e., depression plus co-occurring, noneuphoric, hypomanic symptoms) might support a continuity between bipolar II (BP-II) depression and major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of the study was to assess the distribution of intradepressive hypomanic symptoms rating between BP-II and MDD depressions. A bi-modal distribution would support a categorical distinction, and no bi-modality would support continuity. METHODS: Consecutive 389 BP-II and 261 MDD major depressive episode (MDE) outpatients were interviewed (off psychoactive drugs) with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, the Hypomania Interview Guide (HIG, to assess intradepressive hypomanic symptoms), and the Family History Screen, by a mood specialist psychiatrist in a private practice. Mixed depression was defined as MDE plus 3 or more intradepressive, noneuphoric hypomanic symptoms, a definition validated by Akiskal and Benazzi. The distribution of intradepressive hypomanic symptoms rating was studied by Kernel density estimate and by histogram. RESULTS: BP-II depression, versus MDD depression, had significantly lower age at onset, was significantly more likely to be atypical and mixed, had more depression recurrences, and a higher bipolar family history loading. BP-II depression, versus MDD depression, had significantly more irritability, racing/crowded thoughts, distractibility, psychomotor agitation, talkativeness, increased goal-directed activity, and excessive risky activities. HIG scores were significantly higher in BP-II. The distribution of intradepressive hypomanic symptoms rating showed no bi-modality in the entire depression sample. CONCLUSIONS: Interpretation of study findings relies on the method used to define a categorical disorder. By using classic diagnostic validators (such as family history and age at onset), BP-II and MDD depressions would seem to be distinct disorders. Instead, by using the 'bi-modality' approach, a continuity would seem to be supported. Which of these methods for classification is the best has yet to be shown.
TCAs
SSRIs
RIMAs
Options
Bupropion
Amineptine
Reboxetine
Mechanisms
Nefazodone
Mirtazapine
Venlafaxine
Antidepressants
5-HT/dopamine
Antidepressants
Tranylcypromine
Anti-anxiety drugs
Chronic depression
Atypical depression
Retarded depression
Treatment-resistant depression
The monoamine theory of depression

Refs
and further reading

HOME
HedWeb
Nootropics
erythroxylum-coca.com
Future Opioids
BLTC Research
MDMA/Ecstasy
Superhapiness?
Utopian Surgery?
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

The Good Drug Guide
The Good Drug Guide

The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family