Mania and Low Self-Esteem

Ken C. Winters, John M. Neale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


The present study tested the theory that although bipolar patients do not report low self-esteem, they do possess a cognitive schema of low self-esteem. Equalsized groups (n = 16) of remitted bipolars, remitted unipolars, and normals completed a self-report battery of tests of self-esteem, social desirability, and self-deception, and a task designed to assess whether self-esteem influences inferences about the causes of imagined events. Remitted bipolars scored the same as normals and higher than remitted depressives on self-esteem, and they scored higher than the other groups on both social desirability and self-deception. Furthermore, remitted bipolars' inferences about the causes of failures resembled those of a depressive, suggesting the presence of a low self-worth schema. The data are consistent with the view that bipolar patients have negative feelings of self which are not revealed on usual self-report inventories. Also, because the remitted depressives showed a "depressive attributional style" on the inference task, issues concerning the mood dependence of depressive cognitions were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-290
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1985

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