Home > Depression Issues > How Personality Affects Depression Treatment

How Personality Affects Depression Treatment

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 17 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Depression Treatment Personality

When we think about all the options available to treat depression, we tend to focus on research or our physician to tell us the effectiveness of each approach. We might think that the severity of the depression is key in choosing the right treatment.

Or, we may think that the type of depression is important. All of these are deciding factors that influence how treatment is chosen and turns out, but is there more to it than that?

Does Personality Play a Part in Recovery?

Can something as innate as our personality be affecting the outcome of depression treatment? If so, what can we do about it? These are questions that researchers had when they began a study to look at personality factors and how these influence a person’s response to depression treatment.

Temperament Harm Avoidance (HA)

One personality trait has been characterised as HA, which is when a person worries excessively. This particular personality trait has been linked to major depression and serotonin functioning.

Serotonin and Personality Traits

Serotonin is one of the chemicals thought to be involved in depression, typically where it is low. It helps to regulate mood, sleep and eating, to name a few functions. In previous studies, researchers have seen that HA is connected to a person’s response to antidepressants that target serotonin.

Responding to Antidepressants

For this study, researchers wanted to find out how HA mediated each participant’s response to an antidepressant known as a serotonergic tricyclic. Patients in the study also had to fill out a Hamilton Rating Scale to assess their depression, plus a personality questionnaire before the treatment and again after eight weeks of treatment.

After the study was finished, researchers looked at the results and then created a model to show how HA changed as the participant’s response changed. They also made another model to show HA as a byproduct of the change in depression.

Reduced Depression, Less Worrying and Lowered Anxiety

The patients who received the antidepressant treatment showed a bigger decrease in HA compared to the people in the control group who didn’t get the drug. Overall, as the depression level went down, so did HA. For people who deal with this kind of constant worrying and anxiety on a regular basis, it is positive news to know that a treatment that helps their overall depression also helps with this one particular personality trait too.

Personality Controlling Response

Researchers also found that HA actually mediated a person’s response to the antidepressant. This means that the treatment effect of the antidepressant occurred through the lowering of HA. Now, researchers want to try to replicate the experiment by using different periods to assess the effects. They want to see if the HA reduction happens before the depression or not.

Improving Depression Treatment and Outcomes

But for now, this recent study helps to add to the existing research around how personality affects depression treatment. It again goes to show how complicated depression can be and how treatment has to be quite targeted to help each person’s individual depression symptoms and personality traits.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • buddhabae
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I had an abortion about two months ago. It kills me even more knowing that Mother's Day is soon to be here. I would l have been 24…
    14 May 2017
  • jjone
    Re: How to Rebuild Your Life After a Breakdown
    i had a breakdown on June last year i dost realise the signs and carried on. i than slot froy husband in a…
    5 May 2017
  • Izzy
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I fell pregnant at 16 (im now 17) i found out about 2 weeks before christmas, unsure and scared i told my mum after only knowing…
    12 April 2017
  • Afad
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I m about to dissolve my marriage and I can't keep the baby so being 5 weeks pregnant I opted for medical abortion. Tough decision…
    10 April 2017
  • OvercomeDepression
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    Mabel - Your Question:I had a abortion a week ago, my husband wanted to keep the baby , I wasn't so sure.it was a big shock for…
    29 March 2017
  • Mabel
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I had a abortion a week ago, my husband wanted to keep the baby , I wasn't so sure .it was a big shock for both of us , since we…
    27 March 2017
  • OvercomeDepression
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    sarah cleaver - Your Question:I'm struggling with guilt over having a termination on Wednesday five days ago. This was a mistake…
    22 March 2017
  • OvercomeDepression
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    anonymousmama - Your Question:I had an abortion on Wednesday the 15th of March I was 18 weeks pregnant and it's not something I…
    20 March 2017
  • sarah cleaver
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I'm struggling with guilt over having a termination on Wednesday five days ago. This was a mistake that was totally took me by…
    19 March 2017
  • anonymousmama
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I had an abortion on Wednesday the 15th of March I was 18 weeks pregnant and it's not something I wanted to do but everyone else…
    17 March 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the OvercomeDepression website. Please read our Disclaimer.