Personality disorders in dystymia and major depression

ArticleinActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica 99(5):332-40 · June 1999with4 Reads
Impact Factor: 5.61 · DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1999.tb07238.x · Source: PubMed


    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.