Article

Character and temperament in major depressive disorder and a highly anxious-retarded subtype derived from melancholia.

Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Comprehensive Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.38). 01/2007; 48(5):426-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2007.04.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT An anxious-retarded subtype of major depressive disorder, defined by high scores for both anxiety and retardation, has been derived from melancholia and appeared to have higher external validity in terms of poor outcome and vasopressinergic stress hormone regulation. A specific personality could enhance the validity of this subtype, and the association with melancholia suggested the absence of a personality disorder. As 2 character dimensions of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), self-directedness (SD) and cooperativeness, parsimoniously predict the presence of a personality disorder, the primary aim was to test whether patients with the highly anxious-retarded subtype of depression have both normal SD and normal cooperativeness. A secondary aim was to optimally account for the general personality characteristics of patients with a major depressive disorder.
Eighty-six patients with major depressive disorder and matched healthy controls were selected. Seventy patients were eventually recruited for a 2-year follow-up encompassing 5 assessments of personality (TCI) and psychopathology (Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale). Full remission of depression was defined by the presence of less than 3 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition items of depression during 2 weeks.
State-dependent changes of SD and harm avoidance (HA) scores were found in all depressed patients. Fully remitted patients had only high HA compared with healthy controls. Unexpectedly, fully remitted patients with the highly anxious-retarded subtype, in addition, had low SD.
The temperament of high HA may be the predisposing TCI trait for major depressive disorder in general. Low SD may be a specific presumably premorbid character trait for the highly anxious-retarded subtype derived from melancholia.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
47 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent discoveries relating depression to inflammation and immune function may help to solve an important evolutionary puzzle: If depression carries with it so many negative consequences, including notable costs to survival and reproduction, then why is it common and heritable? What countervailing force or compensatory advantage has allowed susceptibility genes for depression to persist in the population at such high rates? A priori, compensatory advantages in combating infection are a promising candidate, given that infection has been the major cause of mortality throughout human history. Emerging evidence on deeply rooted bidirectional pathways of communication between the nervous and immune systems further supports this notion. Here we present an updated review of the infection-defense hypothesis of depression, which proposes that moods - with their ability to orchestrate a wide array of physical and behavioral responses - have played an adaptive role throughout human history by helping individuals fight existing infections, as well as helping both individuals and their kin avoid new ones. We discuss new evidence that supports several key predictions derived from the hypothesis, and compare it with other major evolutionary theories of depression. Specifically, we discuss how the infection-defense hypothesis helps to explain emerging data on psychoimmunological features of depression, as well as depression's associations with a diverse array of conditions and illnesses - including nutritional deficiencies, seasonal changes, hormonal fluctuations, and chronic disease - that previous evolutionary theories of depression have not accounted for. Finally, we note the potential implications of the hypothesis for the treatment and prevention of depression.
    Brain Behavior and Immunity 12/2012; · 5.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: To evaluate temperament and character traits using the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory (JTCI) in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) in comparison with healthy control subjects (HC), and to verify if comorbidity with disruptive behavioral disorders and being currently depressed influence JTCI scores. METHODS: A case-control study comprising 41 MDD children/adolescents matched to 40 HC by gender and age (8-17years). All participants were assessed diagnostically with the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia - Present and Lifetime (K-SADS-PL). Temperament and character traits were measured with the parent and child versions of JTCI, and depression was evaluated with the Children's Depression Rating Scale (CDRS). RESULTS: According to child and parent data, MDD subjects had significantly higher scores on harm avoidance and novelty seeking, and lower scores on reward dependence, persistence, self-directedness and cooperativeness compared with HC. According to parent data only, MDD subjects significantly differed from HC on self-transcendence (lower spirituality scores and higher fantasy scores). Comorbidity with disruptive behavioral disorders exerted influence on almost all dimensions, in general increasing the mean differences between MDD and HC subjects. Also, being currently depressed did not influence the results, except for reward dependence according to parent data. LIMITATIONS: The cross-sectional nature of the study and its limited sample size. CONCLUSIONS: MDD children/adolescents have a different temperament and character profile compared to HC subjects. This study supports previous findings of trait-like characteristics of harm avoidance and self-directedness.
    Comprehensive psychiatry 12/2012; · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Not enough is known about which patients suffering from major depressive disorder benefit from antidepressant drug treatment. Individual temperament is relatively stable over a person's lifespan and is thought to be largely biologically predefined. We assessed how temperament profiles are related to depression and predict the efficacy of antidepressant treatment. We recruited one hundred Finnish outpatients (aged 19 to 72) suffering from major depressive disorder, of whom 86 completed the 6-week study. We assessed their temperament features with the Temperament and Character Inventory and used cluster analysis to determine the patient's temperament profile. We also categorized the patients according to the vegetative symptoms of major depressive disorder. There was an association between skewed temperament profile and severity of major depressive disorder, but the temperament profiles alone did not predict antidepressant treatment response. Those with higher baseline vegetative symptoms score had modest treatment response. Our model with baseline Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) vegetative symptoms, age and temperament clusters as explanatory variables explained 20% of the variance in the endpoint MADRS scores. The temperament clusters were associated both with severity of depression and antidepressive treatment response of depression. The effect of the temperament profile alone was modest but, combined with vegetative symptoms of depression, their explanatory power was more marked suggesting that there could be an association of these two in the biological basis of MDD.
    Psychiatry investigation 01/2014; 11(1):18-23. · 1.06 Impact Factor

Full-text

View
1 Download
Available from
May 21, 2014