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(p. 119) The Nature and Structure of Bipolar Symptoms 

(p. 119) The Nature and Structure of Bipolar Symptoms
(p. 119) The Nature and Structure of Bipolar Symptoms

David Watson

and Michael W. O’Hara

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date: 24 November 2020

This chapter reviews key properties of mania symptoms. These symptoms are unusual in that they tend to be associated with elevated levels of both distress/negative emotionality and energy/positive emotionality. It is noteworthy, moreover, that individual symptom measures assess these two components to varying degrees, such that some place greater weight on elevated negative emotionality, whereas others focus more on excessive positive emotionality. In fact, structural analyses of mania symptom measures reveal two underlying dimensions. First, Manic Distress taps individual differences in affective lability, restlessness, and cognitive manifestations of mania (e.g., pressure of speech). Scores on this factor correlate substantially with neuroticism and negative affectivity. Second, Manic Elation reflects individual differences in elation, excitement, and energy/activation; this factor correlates strongly with scales assessing extraversion and positive emotionality. The identification of these distinct factors has important implications for the conceptualization and assessment of bipolar disorder.

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