What is impulsivity in bipolar disorder?

Impulsivity is a predisposition towards unplanned reactions to internal or external stimuli, without regard to the consequences. Impulsivity is a major feature in a variety of psychiatric disorders, and is a common feature of manic episodes. It may also be present during remission/euthymia and during depression phases of the disorder.

What is the evidence for impulsivity?

Moderate to high quality evidence found medium-sized effects of more impulsivity on tasks assessing response inhibition, delayed gratification, attention, decision making, and risk-taking in people with bipolar disorder compared to controls. Increases in impulsivity were found in all phases of the disorder. Moderate to low quality evidence found increased impulsivity in non-planning, motor, and general cognitive domains during remission of the disorder.

September 2021

Image: ©egokhan –

Last updated at: 12:04 am, 8th October 2021
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.