[Skip to Navigation]
November 1972

The Depressive Personality: A Critical Review

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the George Washington University Medical School, Washington, DC.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(5):666-673. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750290076014

Enduring personality patterns influence clinical depressions by coloring and altering depressive symptoms and, possibly, by predisposing certain individuals to episodes of depressive illness. The existence and characteristics of such putative predisposing personality patterns has been the subject of considerable discussion in psychiatric and psychoanalytic literature, the reliability of which, when subjected to critical review, is compromised seriously by method ological and other inadequacies. For instance, the association of obsessive personality and involutional depression rests on tenuous grounds.

There is enough evidence for depressogenic potential of the socalled oral or dependent personality as described by psychoanalysts, especially in the case of major (manic-depressive) illnesses, to warrant further investigation.

Add or change institution