Sensory profiles as potential mediators of the association between hypomania and hopelessness in 488 major affective outpatients

J Affect Disord. 2018 Jan 1;225:466-473. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.08.036. Epub 2017 Aug 18.


Introduction: Extreme sensory processing patterns may contribute to the pathophysiology of major affective disorders. We aimed to examine whether significant correlations exist between sensory profiles, hypomania, self-reported depression, and hopelessness and whether sensory profiles may be potential mediators of the association between hypomania and depression/hopelessness.

Methods: The sample consisted of 488 euthymic affective disorder patients of which 283 diagnosed with unipolar and 162 with bipolar disorder with an age ranging from 18 to 65 years (mean = 47.82 ± 11.67).

Results: Lower registration of sensory input and sensory sensitivity significantly correlated with elevated self-reported depression, hopelessness, and irritable/risk-taking hypomania while sensation seeking and avoiding significantly correlated with elevated depression and hopelessness but not with irritable/risk-taking hypomania. Moreover, individuals with lower ability to register sensory input and higher hypomania showed higher self-reported depression than those with good registration of sensory information. According to SEM analyses, there was both a direct/indirect effect of irritable/risk-taking on depression-hopelessness with the mediation model explaining 48% of the variance in depression-hopelessness.

Limitations: The relatively small sample size and the cross-sectional nature of the study design do not allow the generalization of the main findings.

Conclusion: Low registration was associated with enhanced depressed mood and hopelessness while sensory seeking may be considered a resilient factor.

Keywords: Hopelessness; Hypomania; Major affective disorders; Self-reported depression; Sensory processing patterns.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cyclothymic Disorder / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritable Mood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Risk
  • Young Adult