Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 34
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825285

Time in depression and mania: Running fast or running slow? A computer based, controlled study of 93 depressed, manic and control subjects

T Bschor 1, M Ising 2, M Bauer 3, U Lewitzka 1, M Skerstupeit 1, B Müller-Oerlinghausen 4, C Baethge 5
  • 1Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Technische Universität Dresden, Deutschland
  • 2Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie, München, Deutschland
  • 3Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Charité der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Deutschland
  • 4Arzneimittelkommission der Deutschen Ärzteschaft, Berlin und Köln, Deutschland
  • 5Mailman Research Center, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA, USA

Objective: Studies on the time sense of depressed patients have revealed inconsistent results. Manic patients have been almost neglected. Method: Patients with a major depressive episode (N=32), or a manic episode (N=30) (both DSM-IV, M.I.N.I.-confirmed), and 31 healthy controls were included. The subjective time experience was assessed by a visual analog scale (VAS), the objectively measurable time judgment abilities by the Chronotest, a computer program developed for this study, consisting of time estimation and time production tasks. Results: Controls reported a balanced, manic patients an enhanced, and depressive patients a slowed experience of time flow in the VAS (p<0.001). In the time judgment tasks, however, both depressed and manic patients showed time over-estimation for the longer time spans (p<0.008). Conclusion: This largest study on time sense in manic patients confirmed results of a divergent alteration of time experience in depressive and in manic patients but revealed an uniform time over-estimation by both patient groups in time judgment tasks.