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Depressive Personality Disorder

  1. Steven K. Huprich

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0264

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Huprich, S. K. 2010. Depressive Personality Disorder. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Eastern Michigan University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Since 1994, the American Psychiatric Association has been considering the proposal of Depressive Personality Disorder (DPD) for inclusion in future editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, [APA], 1994). The disorder and related syndromes have had a rich history in the history of philosophy, disease classification, and psychiatry, going back to the Greek philosophers who described melancholic character as one of four basic character types. According to the DSM-IV (APA, 1994) and DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000), individuals are diagnosed with DPD when they meet five of the seven following criteria: (1) usual mood is joyless, cheerless, and dysphoric; (2) the self-concept centers around feelings of worthlessness and the individual has low self-esteem; (3) the individual is self-critical; (4) the individual broods or worries frequently; (5) the individual is negative or critical of others; (6) the individual is pessimistic; and (7) the individual often feels guilty or remorseful. DSM-IV (APA, 1994) states that this disorder is not to be diagnosed when these criteria “occur exclusively during Major Depressive Episodes” of if they are “better accounted for by Dysthymic Disorder” (APA, 1994, p. 733).


  • depressive personality;
  • dysthymia;
  • diagnostic overlap