A pervasive pattern of depressive cognitions and behaviors beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
- usual mood is dominated by dejection, gloominess, cheerlessness, joylessness, unhappiness
- self-concept centers around beliefs of inadequacy, worthlessness, and low self-esteem
- is critical, blaming, and derogatory toward self
- is brooding and given to worry
- is negativistic, critical, and judgmental toward others
- is pessimistic
- is prone to feeling guilty or remorseful
- Does not occur exclusively during Major Depressive Episodes and is not better accounted for by Dysthymic Disorder.
- These individuals may be quiet, introverted, passive, and unassertive, preferring to follow others rather than taking the lead.
- This pattern may occur with approximately equal frequency in females and males.
- Individuals with this presentation may be predisposed to developing Dysthymic Disorder and possibly Major Depressive Disorder.
- These conditions may exist on a spectrum, with depressive personality disorder being the early-onset, persistent, trait like variant of the Depressive Disorders.
- Preliminary evidence suggests that depressive personality disorder may have an increased prevalence in family members of probands with Major Depressive Disorder.
- Conversely, Major Depressive Disorder may occur with increased frequency in family members of probands with depressive personality disorder who do not themselves have Major Depressive Disorder.
- I am always disappointed with myself and cynical about others and the future.
- I do not consider the spreading of good cheer to be among my responsibilities.
- I am not eager for authority.
- I expect those under me to take on a great deal of work.
- When I am in charge, the work atmosphere need not be upbeat, personally encouraging, or even supportive.
- I can be quite critical of those who work under me.
- I never expect things to go right.
- I don’t get much pleasure from anything outside of work.
- I What’s the use of looking at life from the bright side.
- Life is just work, pain, and loss.
- I’ll believe it when I see it.
- Life is depressing; I have a right to always be pessimistic.
- I believe that my dark views of things is just being realistic.
- Bad news is interesting and reassuring because it represents reality.
- A person should remain faithful to their spouse, even if their spouse does not.
- I expect worse from others.
- I am very critical of my mate.
- Other people expect too much of me.
- Parents should teach their children not to expect too much from life.
- Parents should inculcate the value of work; activities outside of homework and chores should be restricted.
- I am severely limited as a person; if only I’d been born with a different temperament.
- My life has been a series of failures and I am helpless in the face of forces beyond my control.
- I should continually prepare for the worst.
- I must keep my nose to the grindstone, adhere to routine, and remain un-distracted by impulses and passion.
- I should always think everything through before acting, not take risks or challenge fate, and never try to escape into pleasure.
- There is no hope, now or ever.
(Beck & Freeman, 1990)
In Terms of the 5-Factor Model of Personality
- They Experience:
- High neuroticism
- Low extroversion
- Low openness
- Low agreeableness
- High conscientiousness
- Depressive Personality Disorder will be represented and diagnosed by a combination of core impairment in personality functioning and specific pathological personality traits, rather than as a specific type.
- Prominent Personality Traits
- Pessimism, Anxiousness, Depressivity, Low self-esteem, Guilt/shame, Anhedonia
For More Information, Please Read:
- Finnerty, T. (2009). Depressive personality disorder: Understanding current trends in research and practice. Columbus, OH: WorldWideMentalHealth.com
- Phillips, K.A., Gunderson, J.D., Triebwasser, J., Kimble, C.R., Faedda, G., Lyoo, I.K., & Renn, J. (1998). Reliability and validity of depressive personality disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 155, 1044-1048.