Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 September 2015
Background: There is a high prevalence of traumatic life events within individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder. However, currently there is limited theoretical understanding of this relationship. Aims: To explore whether non-clinical symptoms of posttraumatic stress have a direct effect on the non-clinical symptoms of bipolar disorder, or whether this relationship is mediated by cognitive emotion regulation strategies. Method: A cross-sectional design within non-clinical participants completing an online survey including the Impact of Events Scale, Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire and the Hypomanic Personality Scale. Results: Posttraumatic stress symptoms were associated with hypomanic personality. Intrusive memories contributed a small but significant proportion of the variance between these two measures. Rumination of negative emotions mediated the relationship between posttraumatic stress and hypomanic personality. Conclusions: The relationship between traumatic events and an increased prevalence of bipolar disorder remains poorly understood. Further research should explore rumination as a potential target for treatment within those suffering from both posttraumatic stress and bipolar disorder.
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