Psychoanalysis.  2019 Jan;30(1):1-8. 10.18529/psychoanal.2019.30.1.1.

Temperament and Psychological Characteristics of Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: Compared with Patients with Trauma and Stress-Related Disorder

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yeungnam University Hospital, Daegu, Korea.


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).
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.
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.
These findings would be useful in understanding MDD patients. Various psychotherapies can improve the defense mechanisms of depressed patients and help manage depression.


Major depressive disorder; Temperament and character; Defense mechanisms; Personality

MeSH Terms

Defense Mechanisms
Depressive Disorder, Major*
Personality Disorders
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