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Mood disorder cuts work performance

Lost workdays occur especially frequently among people with bipolar disorder, even more so than among workers with major depression, a national survey finds.

Major depression consists of recurrent bouts of helplessness, hopelessness, and depressed mood. In contrast, swings between periods of severe depression and of euphoria characterize bipolar disorder.

Researchers led by sociologist Ronald C. Kessler of Harvard Medical School in Boston interviewed a nationally representative sample of 3,378 workers. The interviews revealed that in the previous year, 1 percent had suffered from bipolar disorder and 6 percent had experienced major depression.

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