OBJECTIVE An alternative to the categorical classification of psychiatric diseases is the dimensional study of the signs and symptoms of psychiatric syndromes. To date, there have been few reports about the dimensions of mania, and the existence of a depressive dimension in mania remains controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the dimensions of manic disorder by using classical scales to study the signs and symptoms of affective disorders. METHODS One-hundred and three consecutively admitted inpatients who met DSM IV criteria for bipolar disorder, manic or mixed were rated with the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-21). A principal components factor analysis of the HDRS-21 and the YMRS was carried out. RESULTS Factor analysis showed five independent and clinically interpretable factors corresponding to depression, dysphoria, hedonism, psychosis and activation. The distribution of factor scores on the depressive factor was bimodal, whereas it was unimodal on the dysphoric, hedonism and activation factors. Finally, the psychosis factor was not normally distributed. LIMITATIONS Patients of the sample were all medicated inpatients. CONCLUSIONS Mania seems to be composed of three core dimensions, i.e. hedonism, dysphoria and activation, and is frequently accompanied by a psychotic and a depressive factor. The existence of a depressive factor suggests that it is essential to evaluate depression during mania, and the distribution of the depressive factor supports the existence of two different states in mania.


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