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ISRN Psychiatry. 2013 Apr 23;2013:246358. doi: 10.1155/2013/246358. Print 2013.

Age of onset of mood disorders and complexity of personality traits.

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1
Department of Mental Health, "San Luigi Gonzaga" Hospital Medical School, ASL TO3, University of Turin, Regione Gonzole 10, 10043 Orbassano, Italy.

Abstract

Objective. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the link between the age of onset of mood disorders and the complexity of the personality traits. Methods. 209 patients with major depressive or manic/hypomanic episodes were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Axis I diagnoses and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III). Results. 17.2% of the patients had no elevated MCMI-III scores, 45.9% had one peak, and 36.9% had a complex personality disorder with two or more elevated scores. Mood disorders onset of 29 years or less was the variable most related to the complexity of personality disorders as indicated from a recursive partitioning analysis. Conclusions. The relationship between mood disorders and personality traits differ in reference to age of onset of the mood disorder. In younger patients, maladaptive personality traits can evolve both in a mood disorder onset and in a complex personality disorder, while the later development of a severe mood disorder can increase the personality symptomatology. Our results suggest a threshold of mood disorder onset higher compared to previous studies. Maladaptive personality traits should be assessed not only during adolescence but also in young adults to identify and treat potential severe mood disorders.

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