The Relationship of Personality to Affective Disorders: A Critical Review
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.