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Objective. According to the cognitive model of depression, negative schemas, formed in early life, increase susceptibility to depression. The objective of this study was to investigate schemas that are proposed to increase susceptibility of depression in bipolar disorder patients who have had depressive episodes.

Method. Eighteen patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder according to DSM-IV and a healthy control group (N= 20) constituted the sample of the study. The Beck Depression Inventory, Young Mania Rating Scale, and Young Schema Scale were applied to patients in order to determine the level of symptoms and schemas.

Results. When the scores obtained from Young Schema Scale were compared between groups, significant differences were observed between bipolar patients and control group on all the schemas except abandonment, emotional deprivation, defectiveness, vulnerability to harm or illness, and approval seeking. The negative schema scores of bipolar patients were significantly higher than those of the control group.

Conclusion. Of all schemas included in the Young Schema Scale, the scores of bipolar group were higher than the scores of the control group. These findings suggest that, in cognitive-based psychotherapeutic approaches for patients with bipolar disorder, it would be more effective to focus on schemas related to the perception and allowance of feelings at the proper time and the instability of self-perceptions.