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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2010 Sep;122(3):219-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01502.x. Epub 2009 Nov 5.

Personality disorders improve in patients treated for major depression.

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Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, Christchurch, New Zealand.



To examine the stability of personality disorders and their change in response to the treatment of major depression.


149 depressed out-patients taking part in a treatment study were systematically assessed for personality disorders at baseline and after 18 months of treatment using the SCID-II.


Personality disorder diagnoses and symptoms demonstrated low-to-moderate stability (overall kappa = 0.41). In general, personality disorder diagnoses and symptoms significantly reduced over the 18 months of treatment. There was a trend for the patients who had a better response to treatment to lose more personality disorder symptoms, but even those who never recovered from their depression over the 18 months of treatment lost, on average, nearly three personality disorder symptoms.


Personality disorders are neither particularly stable nor treatment resistant. In depressed out-patients, personality disorder symptoms in general improve significantly even in patients whose response to their treatment for depressive symptoms is modest or poor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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