The Integration of Mood, Behavior, and Temperament in Mood Spectrum Disorders

  • Diogo R. Lara
  • Gustavo L. Ottoni
  • Luisa W. Bisol
  • Hudson W. de Carvalho


Current psychiatric diagnosis relies on the assumption of discrete mental disorders as discrete categories, artificially separating mood, behavioral, personality, and cognitive disorders, producing extensive comorbidity. As an alternative, we propose an integrated framework based on temperament and applicable to both adaptive and dysfunctional situations. The Affective and Emotional Composite Temperament (AFECT) model adopts both an analytical approach based on emotional traits to represent specific neurobehavioral subsystems (Volition/Energy, Desire, Anger, Fear, Caution, Emotional Sensitivity, Anxiety, Control, Coping, and Stability) and the affective temperaments as synthetic typology of 12 global configurations divided in four groups: internalized (depressive, anxious, apathetic), unstable (cyclothymic, dysphoric, volatile), stable (euthymic, hyperthymic, obsessive), and externalized (euphoric, irritable, and disinhibited). This range of features covers the whole mood spectrum from mania to depression, contemplating mixed features and euthymia. This model is operationalized with the AFECTS, a short self-report scale, which has shown substantial variations associated with being a victim of bullying, cocaine abuse, and circadian preference. Here we show that those with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder have strong cyclothymic traits, high Desire and Anger, and low Control, Caution, and Stability and share with subjects with major depression the traits of low Volition and Coping and high Anxiety and Emotional Sensitivity. These results point towards the need to view the mood spectrum dimensionally, taking into account several traits concomitantly.


Bipolar Disorder Borderline Personality Disorder Borderline Personality Disorder Emotional Sensitivity Emotional Trait 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diogo R. Lara
    • 1
  • Gustavo L. Ottoni
    • 2
  • Luisa W. Bisol
    • 3
  • Hudson W. de Carvalho
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculdade de BiociênciasPontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) UniversityPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto AlegrePorto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryHospital São LucasPorto AlegreBrazil
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversidade Federal de PelotasPelotasBrazil

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