Suprasensory phenomena in those with a bipolar disorder

Gordon Parker*, Amelia Paterson, Mia Romano, Isabelle Granville Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To increase awareness of the sensory changes experienced during hypo/manic and depressive states by those with a bipolar disorder and determine if the prevalence of such features is similar across differing bipolar sub-types. Methods: We interviewed 66 patients who acknowledged sensory changes during hypo/manic states. They were allocated to bipolar I, bipolar II and soft bipolar diagnostic categories and the prevalence of 10 differing sensory changes was quantified during hypo/manic and depressive phases. Results: Bipolar I patients were just as likely, if not more likely, to report suprasensory changes which typically involved enhancement of senses during hypo/manic phases and muting or blunting during depressive phases. The high prevalence of changes in intuition, empathy, appreciation of danger and predictive capacities suggests that these are more part of the intrinsic bipolar mood domain states and not necessarily suprasensory, while changes in primary senses of smell, taste, vision, touch and hearing appear to more commonly define the suprasensory domain. Conclusions: It is important for clinicians and patients with a bipolar disorder to be aware of non-psychotic, suprasensory phenomena. Identification of such features may aid diagnosis and also explain the recognised increased creativity in those with a bipolar condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-387
Number of pages4
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Issue number4
Early online date15 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • bipolar disorder
  • sensory changes
  • suprasensory changes


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