The Relationship of Personality to Affective Disorders: A Critical Review

Hagop S. Akiskal, Robert M.A. Hirschfeld, Boghos I. Yerevanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

424 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-810
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of general psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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