Personality and temperament

What is personality and temperament in bipolar disorder?

Personality and temperament are relatively stable over time and include innate emotional, reactive, and attentional traits. These traits may differ according to genetic differences and the extent of the risk a person has to psychiatric disorders.

What is the evidence for personality and temperament in people with bipolar disorder?

Compared to controls

Moderate to high quality evidence finds large effects of more harm avoidance, highs and lows, depression, irritability, and anxiousness. There is also less self-directedness and excessive positive mood compared to people without the disorder. Medium-sized effects were found of more self-transcendence, less cooperativeness and less excessive positive mood. There are small effects of more novelty seeking and less reward dependence. In first-degree relatives of people with bipolar disorder compared to people without a relative with the disorder, there are large effects of more highs and lows, more irritability, and more anxiousness. There are also medium-sized effects of more harm avoidance and less self-directedness in relatives.

Compared to first-degree relatives

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests large effects of more harm avoidance, highs and lows, irritability, and anxiousness, and less self-directedness in people with bipolar disorder compared to first-degree relatives. There were also medium-sized effects of less cooperativeness, and more novelty seeking and self-transcendence in people with bipolar disorder.

Compared to bipolar disorder II

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests a small effect of more depression in people with bipolar disorder I.

Compared to other psychiatric illnesses

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests medium-sized effects of more novelty seeking, highs and lows, irritability, and excessive positive mood in people with bipolar disorder than in people with major depression. There was also more self-transcendence, more rumination on positive mood states, and less harm avoidance in people with bipolar disorder.

Compared to people with borderline personality disorder, moderate quality evidence suggests large effects of less depression, irritability, and anxiousness, and a medium-sized effect of more excessive positive mood in people with bipolar disorder.

September 2021

Image: ©Marek Uliasz – stock.adobe.com

Last updated at: 1:11 am, 17th October 2021
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary
Tags:  Personality

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