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.
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