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Psychiatry Res. 2002 Jan 31;109(1):17-25.

Early and delayed personality changes associated with depression recovery? A one-year follow-up study.

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  • 1Psychiatry Department, Paul Brousse Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris XI University, 12 Avenue P.V. Couturier, F-94804 Cedex, Villejuif, France.


Many studies have shown the state effect of depression on personality. However, the chronology of personality changes associated with depression recovery remains unstudied. The objective of this study is to assess early (first month) and delayed personality changes associated with depression recovery. Fifty-seven depressed inpatients were assessed with the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) at admission, 1 month, and 1 year post-treatment. Patients were divided into poor and favorable outcome. No significant personality change was observed in patients with poor depression outcome. Conversely, a favorable outcome of depression was associated with early and delayed personality changes. Early changes were: decrease in Harm avoidance (HA(1):Worry and pessimism), increase in Cooperativeness and Self-directedness (SD(1):Responsibility, SD(4):Self-acceptance, SD(2):Purposefulness and SD(3):Resourcefulness). Delayed changes were changes in character: increase in Self-Directedness (SD(1):Responsibility, SD(4):Self-acceptance, SD(5): Congruent second nature), decrease in Self-transcendence (ST(2):Transpersonal identification). This study shows the different status of personality changes associated with depression recovery, and it contributes to a better knowledge of the state effect and of subtle clinical changes in patients who are recovering from depression. It may also have implications for the prediction of depression outcome.

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