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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2002 September;43(3):161-70

language: Italian

Depressive schemes and personality

Bandini E., Barciulli E., Salvini R., Galassi F., Cabras P. L.


Background. The DSM IV classifies clinical syndromes with different symptoms, severity and courses among the affective disorders. Depres-sive mood seems to be the only common denominator of this heterogeneous group. Moreover, the gradual extension of the concept of depression and the inclusion of atypical varieties in this syndrome has drawn attention to the importance of personality in determining the symptoms of this disease. This study aims to identify the relationships between cognitive styles and depressive symptoms in order to allow a better classification of the various subdiagnoses.
Methods. Seventy-one patients with a diagnosis of depressive disorders took part in the study (48 females and 23 males, mean age 47.7) and 39 control subjects (22 females and 17 males, mean age 49.8). Each subjects was asked to complete SCID IV, Beck Depression Inven-tory, depressive schemes scale, Dysfunctional Working Models Scale, Dysfunctional Attitude Scale. Ther results were analysed using statistical methods (SPSS programme: Student's t-test and one-way ANOVA).
Results. The depressed subjects were differentiated from healthy controls by a number of convictions expressed in three scales. More-over, the tendency towards a uniformity of dysfunctional convinctions in the various subdiagnoses was countered by the presence of particular convictions expressed by patients with a diagnosis of atypical depression.
Conclusions. The personality's traits deduced from typical dysfunctional schemes in the reference sample correspond to traits described in the literature as being characteristic of the pre-depressive personality. Moreover, atypical depression differs from the cognitive uniformity of the other subdiagnoses, confirming its own ''typical'' nature. It would be interesting to explore these encouraging preliminary results in a larger sample population.

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