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Temperament and Psychological Characteristics of Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: Compared with Patients with Trauma and Stress-Related Disorder
Psychoanal 2019;30:1-8
Published online January 31, 2019;
© 2019 Korean Association of Psychoanalysis.

Eun-Jin Cheon, So-Hye Jo, Bon-Hoon Koo, and Hye-Geum Kim

Department of Psychiatry, Yeungnam University Hospital, Daegu, Korea
Eun-Jin Cheon, MD, PhD Department of Psychiatry, Yeungnam University Hospital,170 Hyeonchung-ro, Nam-gu, Daegu 42415, Korea Tel: +82-53-620-3345, Fax: +82-53-629-0256, E-mail:
Received September 28, 2018; Revised October 24, 2018; Accepted October 29, 2018.
cc This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to compare psychological characteristics, such as temperament, character, defense style and personality of major depressive disorder (MDD) to trauma and stress related disorder (TSRD).
Methods: The study used a total of 140 patients, divided into two groups (69 MDD, 71 TSRD). These data was obtained from a database of patients who had visited a Yeungnam University Hospital’s psychiatric department from January 2011 to December 2017. Levels of stress were rated based on the Korean version of the Social Readjustment Rating Scale. Psychological characteristics between the two groups were compared using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), the Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ), and the Personality Disorder Questionnaire-4+ (PDQ-4+). Also, a hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted to investigate the effects of temperament, character, and defense mechanisms on severity of depression.
Results: No significant difference was noticed in demographic characteristics and the level of stress between the two groups. The patients with MDD recorded higher scores in Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) (t=3.092, p<0.05) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) (t=2.473, p<0.05) than the patients with TSRD. The MDD patients also exhibited higher harm avoidance (p<0.012) but lower self-directness (p<0.002) scores. The MDD patients used maladaptive defense style (p<0.049) more frequently than trauma and related disorder patients. The MDD patients also recorded higher scores on schizoid (p<0.001), borderline (p<0.001), avoidant (p<0.016) personality disorders. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis and path analysis showed that defense mechanism interrelates with temperament and personality traits and significantly affected the severity of depression.
Conclusion: These findings would be useful in understanding MDD patients. Various psychotherapies can improve the defense mechanisms of depressed patients and help manage depression.
Keywords : Major depressive disorder · Temperament and character · Defense mechanisms · Personality.

January 2019, 30 (1)
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