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July 1983

The Relationship of Personality to Affective Disorders: A Critical Review

Author Affiliations

From the Affective Disorders Program, Departments of Psychiatry (Drs Akiskal and Yerevanian) and Pharmacology (Dr Akiskal), University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Memphis; Sleep Disorders Center, Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis (Dr Akiskal); and the Clinical Research Branch and Center for the Study of Affective Disorders, National Institute of Mental Health, Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Rockville, Md (Dr Hirschfeld). Dr Yerevanian is now with the Affective Disorders Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, NY.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(7):801-810. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790060099013

• Although characterologic constellations such as obsessionalism, dependency, introversion, restricted social skills, and maladaptive self-attributions are popularly linked to the pathogenesis of depressive disorders, the evidence in support of this relationship remains modest. Indeed, many of these attributes may reflect state characteristics woven into the postdepressive personality. Current evidence is strongest for introversion as a possible premorbid trait in primary nonbipolar depressions. By contrast, driven, work-oriented obsessoid, extroverted, cyclothymic, and related dysthymic temperaments appear to be the precursors of bipolar disorders. Other personalities, while not necessarily pathogenic in affective disorders, nevertheless may modify the clinical expression of affective disorders and their prognosis.