Independent associations between personality traits and clinical characteristics of depression.

Department of Psychology/Clinical Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60607, USA.
The Journal of nervous and mental disease (Impact Factor: 1.81). 08/2009; 197(7):476-83. DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181aad5fc
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Few studies have examined age of onset and chronicity of depression in the same subject sample. The present study sought to determine whether personality traits related to early onset depression were different from those related to chronic depression. We tested the associations between personality self-reports and clinical characteristics of depression by conducting multiple and logistic regression analyses to determine whether personality uniquely predicted clinical characteristics and whether clinical characteristics uniquely predicted personality, after adjusting for depression severity. We also analyzed data at 6-month follow-up to determine whether age of onset and chronicity maintained their associations with personality. The study found that low levels of positive personality traits had unique associations with chronicity of depression, whereas elevated levels of negative personality traits had unique associations with an earlier onset of depression. Furthermore, associations were generally maintained over time, suggesting that associations between personality and these depression subtypes are stable.

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    ABSTRACT: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a pervasive and debilitating illness, with a recurrent course and chronic prognosis. Although effective treatments for MDD exist, there is a pressing need to characterize relapse vulnerability in order to design effective prophylactic care. To date, heterogeneity within depression neuroimaging research has made it difficult to establish a reliable biomarker of disorder susceptibility. In this paper, we review neuroimaging evidence for the assessment of MDD vulnerability, theorizing that current findings can be broadly distinguished between those indicating the presence of depressive episodes and those indicating MDD vulnerability during symptom remission. We argue that unlike the amygdala hyperactivity and prefrontal hypoactivity observed during MDD episodes, prefrontal hyperactivity may be a characteristic of dysphoric cognition during symptom remission that indicates MDD vulnerability and relapse risk. Drawing on current research of normative emotion regulation, we describe a potential test of MDD vulnerability, employing emotional challenge paradigms that induce cognitive reactivity — the increased endorsement of negative self-descriptions during a transient dysphoric mood. Relative to a normative model of prefrontal function, the neuroimaging assessment of cognitive reactivity may provide a reliable indicator of MDD vulnerability, advancing the field of biomarker research as well as the delivery of preventative treatment on an individual basis.
    12/2011; 2(4). DOI:10.2478/s13380-011-0033-2
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Much is still unclear about the mechanisms underlying the course of major depressive disorder (MDD). This study aimed to identify risk factors that predict a poor prognosis of MDD while taking into consideration its chronicity at baseline. Methods: In patients with MDD (n = 767), we examined whether baseline clinical factors, sociodemographics, childhood trauma, personality and life events predicted the 4-year course (i.e. sustained recovery, temporary recovery and chronic course) of MDD. Baseline chronicity of MDD was taken into account by testing whether associations were different for patients with nonchronic versus chronic MDD at baseline. Results: In patients with nonchronic MDD at baseline, 27.8% developed a chronic disorder during follow-up, whereas 53.0% of patients with chronic MDD at baseline had a persistent chronic disorder during follow-up. Severity of MDD, childhood trauma and greater age were important general risk factors for a poor prognosis, independent of MDD chronicity at baseline. In contrast, low extraversion was only important for the course of nonchronic MDD at baseline, while higher education and negative life events (in patients with high neuroticism) were only relevant for the course of chronic MDD at baseline. Conclusions: One out of 4 patients with nonchronic MDD progressed to a chronic disorder, while half of the patients with chronic MDD remained chronic during follow-up. Since several risk factors for a poor prognosis differed for patients with nonchronic and chronic MDD at baseline, treatment targets should be adjusted for current chronicity of MDD. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 08/2014; 83(5):279-288. DOI:10.1159/000362563 · 9.37 Impact Factor


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