Objective: Bipolar disorder is a serious disease that causes loss of functionality and disability. Impulsivity, which has been defined as making plans and take action without thinking is divided into two components: state impulsivity and trait impulsivity. Although trait impulsivity is the component of impulsivity that remains constant at different episodes of the disorder, state impulsivity is the changing part due to the state of the disorder. In this study we aimed to test the hypothesis that the impulsivity is statistically higher in patients with bipolar disorders than normal controls when the impact of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was controlled.
Method: Fifty-three patients with bipolar disorder were taken to the study. Age and sex matched 52 individuals who had not any history of psychiatric illness lifetime included in the study as a control group. Diagnoses were confirmed by an experienced psychiatrist with using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV according to the DSM-IV -TR. SKIP-TURK form was used to collect socio demographic data and information associated with the illness. Wender Utah Rating Scale, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale Version 11 (BIS-11) was applied to the patients and the control group.
Results: There was no significantly difference between the patients and control groups in terms of Wender Utah rating scales average scores and the ratio of the individuals who had higher scores from the cut-off point. This study, which aimed to show the impulsivity in bipolar disorder is trait, demonstrated that Barratt Impulsiveness Scale Version 11 score was significantly higher in euthymic bipolar disorder patients than the control group. The negative correlation was also found in this study between age at onset and attention, motor, non-planning subscale scores in Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11.
Discussion: Eliminating the effect of impulsivity seen in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder that often accompanies bipolar disorders, these results indicate that the impulsivity in euthymic bipolar disorder patients is significantly higher than the control group. Determination of the higher impulsivity in euthymic bipolar disorder patients than the control group and the negative correlation between the age at onset and impulsivity levels shows that the impulsivity in bipolar disorder has a trait component in addition to state.
bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, impulsivity