Personality and Depression: Empirical Findings
The Clinical Studies of the National Institute of Mental Health--Clinical Research Branch Collaborative Program on the Psychobiology of Depression offer an opportunity to clarify the relationship between personality and depression. Thirty-one female patients with primary nonbipolar major depressive disorder were assessed diagnostically using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia and completed a battery of standard self-report personality inventories when they were completely symptom free. Their personality scale scores were compared with those of female relatives who had recovered from the same type of disorder, those of female relatives with no history of psychiatric illness, and published scale norms. Compared with the normal population, both groups of recovered depressives were introverted, submissive, and passive, with increased interpersonal dependency but normal emotional strength. Comparison to never-ill relatives yielded similar results except that the never-ill relatives had scores reflecting extraordinary emotional strength.