Depressive personality responds to therapy


The negative outlook of the depressive personality does not have to be permanent. For the ten to twenty percent of the population that suffers from depression this is good news.

Psychologist Rachel Maddux from Lund University in Sweden took a look at depression and who and why some treatments helped and others didn’t. Depression is a serious, sometimes debilitating problem which affects millions of people worldwide. In her work, Maddux faced frustrations with treatments that were not helpful for all the patients diagnosed with depression. Why were some people helped why others were not?

She hypothesized that people with pervasive depressive personality traits were more difficult to treat then those who suffered from depression. These people, who as part of their general personalities, had a negative outlook, were generally worried and had low self-esteem may be more difficult to treat as a result of their depression being “hard wired”.

Of the 44% of depressed people who sought therapy, she found that contrary to her thesis, psychotherapy, both cognitive and psychodynamic, helped the depressive personality types as much as those without it.

“The interesting thing was that therapy not only improved the depression itself, it also ameliorated the pervasive depressive traits,” said Maddux. So while Maddux is now hopeful for anyone with depression who seeks treatment, she still cannot say why therapies work for some and not others.

“But now I know that there is hope for those with depressive personality,” she concluded. “The next step will be to study other factors that could affect the outcome of treatment: biology, childhood and development, trauma, etc.”

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Lund University


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