Bipolar disorder: I. Temperament and character

Christer Engström, Sven Brändström, Sören Sigvardsson, Robert Cloninger, Per Olof Nylander

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    73 Scopus citations


    Background: The nature of the relationship between personality and bipolar affective disorders is an important but unanswered question. Methods: We have studied personality in bipolar patients by using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). TCI were administered to 100 euthymic bipolar patients and 100 controls from the normal population. Results: Bipolar patients were significantly higher in harm avoidance (HA) and lower in reward dependence (RD), self-directedness (SD), and cooperativeness (CO) than controls. Bipolar patients are more fatigable, less sentimental, more independent, less purposeful, less resourceful, less empathic, less helpful, less pure-hearted, and have less impulse control than controls. Bipolar II patients are more impulsive, more fatigable, less resourceful, and have less impulse control than bipolar I patients. Limitations: Our results are limited to euthymic bipolar patients and cannot be generalized to affective disorders. Conclusions: Even when clinically euthymic on lithium maintenance, bipolar patients continue to have a characteristic cognitive deficit. This is in agreement with cognitive theories about cognitive deficits in depression that are regarded as important vulnerability factors in mood disorders.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-134
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of affective disorders
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2004


    • Bipolar
    • Character
    • Personality
    • Temperament


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