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A new scale for the evaluation of feelings of guilt is described. Two types of guilt feeling were of potential interest: ‘delusional’ guilt or shame (experienced in relation to one's actions), and ‘affective’ guilt (a more general feeling of unworthiness). Reliability and validity analyses for the first (15–item) version of the scale were performed in three separate and contrasting clinical samples. The second and final (seven-item) version was tested in another sample of major depressives and in normal controls. The HRSD was used as a measure of severity throughout. The BDI and Widlöcher psychomotor retardation scale were also used as external criteria for the seven-item scale. Exploratory factor analysis of this sample yielded two factors – ‘cognitive/attitudinal’ and ‘mood/feeling’ – of which only the first correlated with scores for psychomotor retardation. It is suggested that these two factors represent two forms of guilt, but that only the former is related to a putative dopaminergic disorder. Guilt scores and measures of severity were not correlated. It is suggested that feelings of guilt should be considered as a behavioural marker for a subtype of depression.
A manic-depressive patient hid £3000 during one manic phase and subsequently, when his mood stabilised, could not remember where he had hidden it. He found the money during a subsequent manic phase a few months later. We suggest that this is not a clear case of state-dependent memory, since the patient at no point explicitly recollected where he had hidden the money. Instead we suggest that this represents state-dependent action. The links between this case and previous research on state-dependent memory are outlined.
Seventy-six patients were interviewed within a week of admission following a parasuicide episode. Axis II diagnosis on DSM-III was made for schizotypal, borderline, histrionic, and antisocial personality disorder. In addition patients completed a self-rating questionnaire, the Schizotypy Questionnaire of Claridge & Broks (1984), which assesses schizotypal and borderline personality traits. The objective and subjective indices of schizotypal and borderline symptoms correlated significantly but allocation of patients to a diagnosis missed several patients who nevertheless rated themselves as having a high frequency of these symptoms. There was an asymmetry of symptom pattern reminiscent of Foulds & Bedford's (1975) hierarchy model. The presence of schizotypal symptoms appeared to be higher in the hierarchy: they predicted borderline symptoms, but a high frequency of borderline symptoms did not necessarily predict schizotypy. We suggest that the occurrence of schizotypal symptoms should become a more explicit focus of clinical assessment and treatment of these patients, especially those who repeatedly harm themselves and we suggest ways in which cognitive therapies may be adapted to do this.
The efficacy of lithium prophylaxis in bipolar affective disorder in clinical practice was investigated. Comparison was made between 41 patients who were prescribed prophylactic lithium after two admissions in two years or three admissions in five years and a group of patients who did not receive lithium. The benefits conferred by the prescription of this drug were modest compared with the results from clinical trials.
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