Dissociative experience in unipolar and bipolar depression: exploring the great divide
Seshadri Sekhar Chatterjee 1*, Arghya Pal 2, Nitu Mallik 2, Malay Kumar Ghosal 2, Soumitra Das 1
1National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS),Bangalore,India, 2Medical College,Kolkata, India
Received: February 28, 2017; Revised: March 28, 2017; Accepted: March 29, 2017; Published online: March 29, 2017.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Dissociative experience in unipolar and bipolar depression: exploring the great divide
Unipolar (UD) and bipolar (BD) depression differ strikingly in respect to neurobiology, course and management, but their apparent clinical similarity often leads to misdiagnosis resulting in chronicity of course and treatment failure. In this study we have tried to assess whether UD and BD can be differentiated on the basis of their dissociative symptoms.
36 UD and 35 BD in active episodes, without any psychiatric comorbidity were selected from outpatient department and compared for depressive and dissociative symptoms using Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and Dissociative Experience Scale-II.
We found that thought the two groups didn’t differ in terms of the socio-demographic or clinical variables, BD group had significantly higher dissociative experience (U=343, P= 0.001) than UD and the difference remained significant even after adjusting for the confounding factors.
Our study shows that dissociative symptoms are significantly more prevalent in the depressive episodes of bipolar affective disorder as compared to the unipolar depression and can be an important tool in differentiating between the two disorders with very similar clinical profile. The difference can be measured using a simple self report questionnaire like DES-II.
Keywords: Dissociation, Bipolarity, Bipolar depression