Risk of Aggressive Behavior in Bipolar Disorder


Ranked by the World Health Organization among the top 10 most disabling disorders in the world, bipolar disorder was the subject of review in a recent study. Here, a video summary by the lead author of a study on bipolar disorder and aggression.

Ranked by the World Health Organization among the top 10 most disabling disorders in the world,1 bipolar disorder (BP) was the subject of a study by Javier Ballester, MD, and colleagues.2 In particular, BP has been associated "with increased risk for aggressive behaviors," and the authors sought to shed light on this issue.

The study concluded: "BP, particularly during acute episodes, is associated with increased self-reported verbal and physical aggression, anger, and hostility. These results provide further evidence of the need for treatments to prevent mood recurrences and prompt treatment of acute mood episodes in subjects with BP."2


Dr Ballester is currently a second year psychiatry resident at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. He completed a psychiatry residency program in Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain, in 2008 and practiced as an attending psychiatrist in an addiction outpatient community center, also in Madrid. Dr Ballester was awarded an Alicia Koplowitz Advanced Fellowship in 2009 to attend the 2-year child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at University of Pittsburgh. He completed his first year as a resident at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. He reports no conflicts of interest concerning the subject matter of this content.


1. Goodwin FK, Jamison KR. Manic-depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression, 2nd Ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2007.
2. Ballester J1, Goldstein B, Goldstein TR, et al. Prospective longitudinal course of aggression among adults with bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disord. 2013;Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print]. See: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bdi.12168/abstract.

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