“Although it has been principally considered as a core feature of borderline personality disorder, mood instability has also been described in bipolar disorder, depression and more recently psychotic disorders.”
Mood instability common in many mental disorders, linked to poorer outcomes
Patel R, et al. BMJ Open. 2015; doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007504.
Analysis of a large national cohort showed mood instability was common across many mental disorders and led to higher rates of hospitalization and antipsychotic treatment.
Based on this analysis, study researcher Rashmi Patel, PhD, of King’s College London, and colleagues recommend clinicians screen for mood instability among all patients with mental disorders, in an effort to improve outcomes and identify patients in need who otherwise may go unrecognized.
“Although it has been principally considered as a core feature of borderline personality disorder, mood instability has also been described in bipolar disorder, depression and more recently psychotic disorders,” Patel and colleagues wrote in BMJ Open. “Across a range of mental disorders, mood instability has been associated with poor functioning, unhappiness and low self-esteem, increases use of health care services and suicidality.”
Researchers assessed mood instability, number of days in a psychiatric hospital, hospital admission, antipsychotic prescriptions and non-antipsychotic mood stabilizer prescriptions using medical record data for 27,704 patients aged 16 to 65 years diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, psychotic depression, personality disorder, unipolar depression without psychosis or any other affective disorder between 2006 and 2013. Patients were followed for up to 5 years after initial diagnosis.