Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


Objective: To study ultradian cycles of mood in four inpatient groups.

Method: We assessed the mood of depressed and nondepressed subjects, on an hourly basis, between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. for two consecutive days using a visual analog scale of mood. Hourly mood scores for each group were plotted against time.

Results: We found ultradian cycles with mean lengths of 3-4 hours in all groups. The major depressive episode and adjustment disorder depression groups, however, had ultradian cycles of significantly greater amplitude than ward staff.

Conclusions: Depressed patients demonstrate greater amplitude in ultradian cycles of mood than nondepressed subjects.

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