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The Rorschach and Bipolar Disorder Singer Hedy K Brabender Virginia Spring 1993 The Use of the Rorschachto Differentiate Unipolar and Bipolar Disorders Journal of Personality Assessment 60 333-345 The article begins by stating that the DSM-III-R the most current issue at the time divides affective disorders into 2 categories unipolar and bipolar Those with unipolar disorders only experience depressive episodes Individuals with bipolar disorder experience episodes of mania as well as depression or only manic episodes The distinction between the two has been evidenced in things such as different responses to medication and concurrence in twins Psychological testing may be another way in which the disorders can be discriminated Previous research has found the responses given between the polar groups are different on the Rorschach test Research cited in the article found that bipolar subjects frequently give crude color responses Their answers tend to be centered on the formal features of he card Unipolar subjects tend to fill their responses with emotion and personal meaning The authors felt however that previous research is lacking and would like to compare Rorschach protocols in both stages of the illness The study sample consisted of 29 unipolar 33and bipolar inpatients Patients who fit the experiments criteria were given the Rorschach test It was administered by one of three clinicians who were not informed of the subjects condition The tests were scored using Exners Comprehensive System 1986 For the bipolar manic group the most distinguishing aspect was a high level of thought pathology The manic group also demonstrated impairment when reality tested The authors speculate that they are likely to disrupt their reality testing with feelings of hostility unlike the unipolar group The manic group was also found to intellectualize more than the bipolar depressed group In contrast the bipolar depressed group showed a high level of cognitive slippage Their responses were less fantasy-like less playful and less optimistic than the manic group This group also demonstrated a
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