Possible correlates of DSM-III-R personality disorders


Jiri Modestin, Psychiatric University Hospital, Lenggstrasse 31, CH-8029 Zürich, Switzerland


An association between personality disorder (PD) pathology, including symptoms of all PD types and Axis I disorders, and suicidal behaviour was studied in a series of 90 non-schizophrenic, non-bipolar in-patients of both sexes without mental retardation or organic brain syndrome. All of these patients, who scored positively on the SCID-II-PQ, were interviewed with the PDE and SCID-P, and with the Structured interview for the study of childhood trauma provided with supplementary items reflecting suicidal behaviour. Mood disorders were found to be significantly correlated with cluster C pathology (PD pathology always being expressed by dimensional PDE scores) and eating disorders were significantly correlated with cluster B pathology in women. Psychoactive substance use disorders were mainly correlated with cluster B pathology and anxiety disorders with cluster C pathology in both sexes. Suicidal behaviour was correlated with PD pathology of all clusters in women, but not in men. In women a strong correlation was found between suicidal behaviour and history of childhood trauma, especially sexual abuse. The results of this study indicate that there is some specificity with regard to the Axis I/Axis II association, more so in relation to PD clusters than in relation to the individual PD types. However, the relationships between PD pathology and Axis I disorders and suicidal behaviour are complex, and they differ between the sexes.