Purpose of review
To provide an update on the epidemiology and the clinical consequences of depression
complicated by comorbid personality disorders
, and to discuss optimal treatment options.
Studies have confirmed the frequent co-occurrence of depression
and personality disorders. These comorbid states are consistently associated with unfavourable clinical indicators such as duration of episode, symptom severity and recurrence of depression
, as well as a negative effect on treatment outcome. Nevertheless, this is a neglected theme and there are hardly any well designed treatment studies available.
We advocate considering depression
and personality as being more closely related and argue in favour of the development of integrated treatment options tailored to understanding symptoms as being interwoven with a variety of long-standing disturbing personality patterns. Both clinically and conceptually, psychodynamic and schema-focused approaches provide good opportunities to adjust available therapies and they could optimize outcomes in this complex patient group. Given the risk of treatment resistance and chronicity, a combination of psychotherapy and medication should always be considered.