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Self-organization in bipolar disorder: Compartmentalization and self-complexity

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stephen Barton


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The present study investigated compartmentalization and self-complexity of self-structure in people with a history of bipolar disorder. Remitted bipolar, recovered depressed and healthy control participants described aspects of themselves using experimenter-provided positive and negative traits. Compartmentalization was assessed by the partitioning of positive and negative traits between self-aspects. Complexity was assessed by both the number of self-aspects people generated and the degree of overlap between the self-aspects. The remitted bipolar and recovered depressed groups demonstrated greater compartmentalization than healthy controls and the remitted bipolar group also demonstrated greater self-complexity than healthy controls when self-aspects relating to the depressed and manic states were included. Compartmentalization may be a generic feature of mood disorder. In addition, bipolar disorder is characterized by a complex, differentiated self-concept with distinctive beliefs about the self in depressed and manic states. Therapeutic implications are discussed. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Taylor JL, Morley S, Barton SB

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cognitive Therapy and Research

Year: 2007

Volume: 31

Issue: 1

Pages: 83-96

Print publication date: 01/02/2007

ISSN (print): 0147-5916

ISSN (electronic): 1573-2819

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s10608-006-9069-y


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