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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450


FIERRO, Marco; BUSTOS, Andrés  e  MOLINA, Carlos. Differences in Subjective Experience Between Unipolar and Bipolar Depression. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2016, vol.45, n.3, pp.162-169. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: It is important to make distinction between bipolar and unipolar depression because treatment and prognosis are different. Since the diagnosis of the two conditions is purely clinical, find symptomatic differences is useful. Objectives: Find differences in subjective experience (first person) between unipolar and bipolar depression. Methods: Phenomenological-oriented qualitative exploratory study of 12 patients (7 with bipolar depression and 5 with unipolar depression, 3 men and 9 women). We used a semi-structured interview based on Examination of Anomalous Self-Experience (EASE). Results: The predominant mood in bipolar depression is emotional dampening, in unipolar is sadness. The bodily experience in bipolar is of a heavy, tired body; an element that inserts between the desires of acting and performing actions and becomes an obstacle to the movement. In unipolar is of a body that feels more comfortable with the stillness than activity, like laziness of everyday life. Cognition and the stream of consciousness: in bipolar depression, compared with unipolar, thinking is slower, as if to overcome obstacles in their course. There are more difficult to understand what is heard or read. Future perspective: in bipolar depression, hopelessness is stronger and broader than in unipolar, as if the very possibility of hope was lost. Conclusions: Qualitative differences in predominant mood, bodily experience, cognition and future perspective were found between bipolar and unipolar depression.

Palavras-chave : Bipolar disorder; Unipolar depression; Bipolar depression; Phenomenology; Symptoms; EASE.

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