Table of Contents
ISRN Psychiatry
Volume 2013, Article ID 246358, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Age of Onset of Mood Disorders and Complexity of Personality Traits

1Department of Mental Health, “San Luigi Gonzaga” Hospital Medical School, ASL TO3, University of Turin, Regione Gonzole 10, 10043 Orbassano, Italy
2Department of Translational Medicine, “Amedeo Avogadro”, University of Eastern Piedmont, Via Solaroli 17, 28100 Novara, Italy
3Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Via Verdi 10, 10124 Torino, Italy
4Department of Neuroscience, “Neurology II”, University of Turin, Via Cherasco 15, 10126 Torino, Italy

Received 20 February 2013; Accepted 18 March 2013

Academic Editors: B. Amann, B. Biancosino, and C. M. Contreras

Copyright © 2013 L. Ostacoli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the link between the age of onset of mood disorders and the complexity of the personality traits. Methods. 209 patients with major depressive or manic/hypomanic episodes were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Axis I diagnoses and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III). Results. 17.2% of the patients had no elevated MCMI-III scores, 45.9% had one peak, and 36.9% had a complex personality disorder with two or more elevated scores. Mood disorders onset of 29 years or less was the variable most related to the complexity of personality disorders as indicated from a recursive partitioning analysis. Conclusions. The relationship between mood disorders and personality traits differ in reference to age of onset of the mood disorder. In younger patients, maladaptive personality traits can evolve both in a mood disorder onset and in a complex personality disorder, while the later development of a severe mood disorder can increase the personality symptomatology. Our results suggest a threshold of mood disorder onset higher compared to previous studies. Maladaptive personality traits should be assessed not only during adolescence but also in young adults to identify and treat potential severe mood disorders.