Year: 2023 Source: Indian Journal of Psychiatry. (2022). 64, 510-517. DOI: 10.4103/indianjpsychiatry.indianjpsychiatry_129_21 SIEC No: 20230257
Background: Indian studies on the course and outcome of bipolar disorder (BD) are scarce and their methodologies vary. Nevertheless, differences from Western ones have been noted. Methods: A systematic random sample of 200 patients with BD attending a general hospital psychiatric unit was chosen. They were assessed using the clinician and self-rated versions of the National Institute of Mental Health-Retrospective Life Charts, the lifetime version of the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale, the Medication Adherence Questionnaire, the Indian Disability Evaluation and Assessment Scale, and the Presumptive Stressful Life Events Scale. Results: The mean age of onset of BD was 26 years. About 11%-13% of the illness was spent in acute episodes, mostly in depression (60%). Episode frequency was 0.4-0.6 annually. The first episode was more likely to be manic, and manic episodes outnumbered depressive episodes. The average duration of episodes was 3 months. Depressive episodes were longer and the time spent in depression was greater than mania. Psychotic symptoms (48%), a mania-depression-interval pattern (61%), and recurrent mania (19%) were common while rapid cycling and seasonal patterns were uncommon. Comorbidity (40%), functional impairment (77%), and lifetime nonadherence (58%) were high, whereas lifetime suicide attempts (16%) were low. Stressful life events were very common prior to episodes (80%), particularly early in the illness. Conclusion: This study suggests differences between Indian and Western patients in the demographic profile and the course and outcome of BD. A more benign presentation in the current study including Indian studies is indicated by their later age of presentation and illness onset, higher rates of marriage, education, and employment, a mania predominant course, lower rates of rapid cycling, comorbidity, and suicidal attempts. Factors associated with better outcomes such as longer time to recurrence, Manic Depressive pattern of illness, and low rates of hospitalizations also appear to be commoner in our study and also in other Indian studies.