2013 issue 3


Volume 22, issue 3

Review article

Depression and abnormal personality in a psychodynamic perspective

Katarzyna Poniatowska-Leszczyńska1, Krzysztof Małyszczak2
1. Krakowskie Centrum Psychodynamiczne, Poznań
2. Zakład Psychoterapii i Chorób Psychosomatycznych, Katedra Psychiatrii, Uniwersytet Medyczny, Wrocław
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2013; 22(3): 201-209
Keywords: depression, psychodynamic psychotherapy, personality diagnosis


Objective. This article shows the interrelation between the level of abnormality in personality and severity of depressive disorders. It correlates depressive symptoms with the quality of psychological structure and processes that determine our understanding of the dynamic of depression and its treatment.

View. Psychodynamic view on depressive disorder is based on the structural personality diagnosis. According to the evaluation of basic psychological qualities such as: identity, defense mechanisms, reality testing, character of object relations, moral functioning allows us to determine level ofpersonality organization. All of our patients' symptoms, along with the decisions about pharmacotherapy, other helping interventions, psychotherapy must be considered based on the structural diagnosis. This article presents the interrelation between Kernberg 's abnormal personality model and the diagnostic criteria of DSM-IV.

Conclusion. Depression is understood as the reaction to object loss. The lower the level of abnormality in personality, the more the depressive states are connected to the genuine loss, and depressive symptoms have more references to the reality. Although in symptomatic perspective, the depressive disorder in people with different personality disorders may seem alike, the symptoms are the result of different psychological processes.

Address for correspondence:
mgr Katarzyna Poniatowska-Leszczyńska
Krakowskie Centrum Psychodynamiczne
ul. Żukowska 27, 60-456 Poznań
e-mail: k.poniatowska@op.pl