Friday, March 28, 2008

Personality traits and treatment for depression

Certain personality traits are thought to contribute towards the development and maintenance of depression. Individuals high in self-criticism are characterized as highly competitive and judgmental towards themselves and others and are highly sensitive to stressors because of a fear of disapproval or criticism from others. People high in dependency need more emotional support but are not necessarily more satisfied with their interactions and relationships and are more likely to have problems when confronted with an interpersonal stressor. A Canadian study of 102 people with depression divided them into three groups. One group received cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), another group received interpersonal therapy while a third group received pharmacotherapy with clinical management. The researchers found that high levels of self-criticism led to a reduction in the effectiveness of interpersonal therapy but actually proved helpful in those being given pharmacotherapy. A tendency towards dependency predicted a worse response to CBT.

Marshall, Margarita B. ... [et al] - Self-criticism predicts differential response to treatment for major depression Journal of Clinical Psychology March 2008, 64(3), 231-244

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