Personality disorders in dysthymia and major depression.

Community Mental Health Center of the Northwestern District of Thessaloniki, Greece.
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica (Impact Factor: 5.55). 06/1999; 99(5):332-40. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1999.tb07238.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of the present study was to investigate the comorbidity of personality disorders in patients with primary dysthymia compared to those with episodic major depression.
A total of 177 out-patients with primary dysthymia and 187 outpatients with episodic major depression were administered a structured diagnostic interview for DSM-III-R Axis II disorders. In addition, all of these patients completed the BDI, and those with the appropriate level of education also completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI).
A significantly higher proportion of dysthymic patients than patients with major depression met the criteria for a personality disorder, for borderline, histrionic, avoidant, dependent, self-defeating types and for personality disorders of clusters B and C. Further analysis revealed that the above differences were mainly due to the subgroup of patients with 'early-onset dysthymia'. Finally, patients with a personality disorder, both dysthymics and those with major depression, had significantly higher scores on the BDI and on the majority of the MMPI scales compared to those without a personality disorder.
The data indicated that (i) dysthymia--mainly that of early onset--is associated with significantly higher personality disorder comorbidity than episodic major depression, and (ii) the presence of a personality disorder is related to more severe overall psychopathology.