First Advisor

Morris Weitman

Term of Graduation

Spring 1983

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Lithium -- Therapeutic use



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, 66 pages)


Common medications utilized in the treatment of psychosis include lithium carbonate and the major tranquilizers. The efficacy of lithium is well established in the treatment of manic-depressive patients exhibiting symptoms of mania. The major tranquilizers treat a broader range of psychotic disorders including schizophrenia.

In the treatment of manic-depressive illness, lithium produces normalization of affect with few side effects. However, since the interval between therapeutic and toxic dosages is narrow, lithium treatment must be closely monitored to avoid severe physical problems and even death. When a schizophrenic is incorrectly diagnosed as manic-depressive, and is treated with lithium, the patient does not benefit from treatment; this also constitutes an inappropriate risk for lithium toxicity. Conversely, when a manic-depressive is incorrectly diagnosed as schizophrenic and treated with major tranquilizers, the patient benefits only from the sedative effects of these drugs while risking the often debilitating side effects associated with them.

Due to the similarity of their associated symptoms, the diagnostic discrimination of mania and schizophrenia is often difficult. This presents a problem, as diagnoses play an important role in the determination of the treatment of functional psychosis. The difficulty in achieving satisfactory levels of accuracy in diagnosis and subsequent choices of treatment for these two conditions may be due to the subjective nature of behavioral observations and clinical judgments in diagnostic interviews. The hazards of clinical judgment can be reduced through the application of appropriate objective tests.

This research developed a scale from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) item pool which is associated with therapeutic response to lithium carbonate.


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