• Early-onset characterological depressions are distinguished from late-onset chronic depressions that complicate the longterm course of unipolar and nonaffective illnesses. In turn, characterological depressions are divisible into at least two subtypes: (1) "Subaffective dysthymias" have even sex distribution, are often complicated by superimposed depressive episodes, rapid eye movement latency is shortened, and they tend to respond to tricyclics or lithium carbonate. In brief, they share many features of primary affective illness. (2) "Character spectrum disorders," by contrast, represent a heterogeneous mixture of personality disorders with inconstant depressive features, are more common in women, are often complicated by alcohol and drug abuse, and outcome tends to be unfavorable.
Akiskal HS, Rosenthal TL, Haykal RF, Lemmi H, Rosenthal RH, Scott-Strauss A. Characterological DepressionsClinical and Sleep EEG Findings Separating 'Subaffective Dysthymias' From 'Character Spectrum Disorders'. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(7):777-783. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780200055006