Impact of childhood abuse on the clinical course of bipolar disorder.

Department of Clinical Psychology, Long Island Unversity, Brooklyn, New York, USA.
The British Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 7.34). 03/2005; 186:121-5. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.186.2.121
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Few investigations have examined the impact of childhood trauma, and domains of childhood abuse, on outcome in bipolar disorder.
To evaluate the prevalence and subtypes of childhood abuse reported by adult patients with bipolar disorder and relationship to clinical outcome.
Prevalence rates of childhood abuse were retrospectively assessed and examined relative to illness complexity in a sample of 100 patients at an academic specialty centre for the treatment of bipolar disorder.
Histories of severe childhood abuse were identified in about half of the sample and were associated with early age at illness onset. Abuse subcategories were strongly inter-related. Severe emotional abuse was significantly associated with lifetime substance misuse comorbidity and past-year rapid cycling. Logistic regression indicated a significant association between lifetime suicide attempts and severe childhood sexual abuse. Multiple forms of abuse showed a graded increase in risk for both suicide attempts and rapid cycling.
Severe childhood trauma appears to have occurred in about half of patients with bipolar disorder, and may lead to more complex psychopathological manifestations.

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Available from: Joseph Goldberg, Nov 02, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Background Life events may very well increase the likelihood of affective episodes in bipolar disorder, but prospective data on survival are inconsistent. Methods The authors examined the prevalence of negative and goal-attainment life events within 6 months prior to the index episode and after the index episode and their impact on the risk of relapse. Two hundred twenty-two consecutively admitted ICD-10 bipolar I (n=126) and II (n=96) patients were followed-up naturalistically over a period of 4 years. Results One-hundred thirty-eight (62.2%) of the patients had at least one life event 6 month before the index episode. Seventy patients (31.5%) experienced one, 48 (21.6%) two, and 20 (9.0%) three (or more) life events. Regarding life events after the index episode, 110 (49.5%) patients had at least one life event. Fifty-four patients (24.3%) experienced one, 31 (14.0%) two, and 25 (11.3%) three (or more) life events. The number of life events was larger in patients with bipolar II disorder than in patients with bipolar I disorder (p=0.004). Using a Cox regression analysis, the risk of a depressive relapse in bipolar I patients was associated with the number of life events after the index episode (p=0.002). This was independent of the quality of the life event. Limitations Standardized life event scales, defined dosages of drugs or blood sampling during all visits were not performed. Conclusions Our data suggest a high and continuous number of life events prior to affective episodes. Life events after the index episode worsened the course of bipolar I patients with more depressive episodes. This underlines the importance of detection and treatment of emerging life events.
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    ABSTRACT: Childhood trauma is an important environmental stressor associated with bipolar disorders (BD). It is still not clear if it is differently distributed between BD I and BD II. Therefore, the aim of this research was to investigate the distribution patterns of childhood trauma in BD I and BD II. In this perspective, we also studied the relationship between childhood trauma and suicidality. We assessed 104 outpatients diagnosed with BD I (n=58) or BD II (n=46) according to DSM-IV-TR criteria and 103 healthy controls (HC) matched for age, sex and education level. History of childhood trauma was obtained using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). All patients with BD had had more severe traumatic childhood experiences than HC. Both BD I and BD II patients differed significantly from HC for trauma summary score and emotional abuse. BD I patients differed significantly from HC for sexual abuse, and BD II differed from HC for emotional neglect. BD I and BD II did not significantly differ for any type of trauma. Suicide attempts were linked to both emotional and sexual abuse in BD I and only to emotional abuse in BD II. Emotional abuse was an independent predictor of lifetime suicide attempts in BD patients. The reliability of the retrospective assessment of childhood trauma experiences with the CTQ during adulthood may be influenced by uncontrolled recall bias. The assessment of childhood trauma, which has great clinical importance because of its strong link with suicidality, can unveil slight differences between BD subtypes and HC. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 12/2014; 175C:92-97. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2014.12.055
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