The temperament and character traits in patients with major depressive disorder and bipolar affective disorder with and without suicide attempt.Psychiatr Danub. 2017 Jun; 29(2):171-178.PD
Suicide and mood disorders (especially major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar affective disorder (BD)) represent a significant global health burden. Major depressive disorder and bipolar affective disorder have been associated with increased risk for suicide. Some specific suicide risk factors might be found in underlying individual personality traits. Specific personality features may predispose an individual to mood disorders (MDD or BD) hence increased suicide risk. The specificity of this research is in the assessment of personality features during the acute phase of illness immediately after suicide attempt which resulted in psychiatric inpatient treatment.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
The study included 119 unrelated Caucasian participants with MDD-severe depressive episode without psychotic symptoms (MDD) and BD-severe depressive episode without psychotic symptoms (BD-sDE). Both groups of patients with MDD and BD-sDE were divided into the suicide attempters and non-suicidal group. The diagnoses of the severe depressive episode without psychotic symptoms in major depressive disorder (MDD; F32.2) and bipolar disorder (BD-sDE; F31.4) were made according to ICD-10 (WHO 1992) diagnostic criteria. Methods of suicide attempts were also assessed according to ICD-10 and a self-report questionnaire, the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) was applied.
The participants who exhibited suicide attempt had significantly higher scores on harm-avoidance (HA) (p<0.001), significantly lower score on persistence (PS) (p=0.037) and lower score, however not statistically significant, on novelty-seeking (NS) (p=0.319) regarding temperament dimensions. In character dimensions, the patients with suicidal attempt had significantly lower scores on self-directedness (SD) (p<0.001) and significantly lower scores on cooperativeness (CO) (p=0.001).
Patients who had suicide attempt may have some significantly different personality traits than non-suicidal patients with mood disorders. The combination of high harm-avoidance (HA) and low self-directedness (SD) may be specific for depressive episode while the combination of high HA, novelty-seeking (NS), and self-transcendence (ST) with low SD may be related to suicide attempts during the depressive episode in bipolar disorder. The novelty-seeking (NS), self-transcendence (ST) and self-directedness (SD) may be specific for suicidal group of bipolar patients.