Can a person’s personality condition them when it comes to developing a mental disorder? Is an extrovert someone less likely to have a depressive disorder?
Recent studies highlight the idea that there are certain personality traits that protect the person from depression or other emotional issues. Throughout this article, we’ll talk about what they are and see explanations of why they might prevent us from suffering from depressive disorders.
Personality and depressive disorders
While it is true that everyone is susceptible to a depressive disorder, and although there are a multitude of factors that influence the development of depression, personality traits are among the most influential.
So, just like certain personality traits make a person more vulnerable when it comes to developing depression, recent studies have found that there are others who do. they can have a protective effect on a person’s mental health.
As for the traits which, along with many other factors, could favor the onset of depression are the neurotic, cyclothymic personality and the personality with obsessive tendencies.
Personality disorders that prevent depression
Those people with neurotic personality traits they tend to experience many insecurities along with feelings of inferiority, this way of being makes them more vulnerable to suffering from a class of depression known as dysthymic disorder. Who stands out for exhibiting low self-esteem and a melancholy and sad mood that sticks out over time.
In contrast, in the cyclothymic personality, the person he tends to suffer from ups and downs in his mood. This oscillation, coupled with a number of external factors, can cause the person to develop bipolar disorder, in which the person goes from feeling deeply sad and depressed to periods of extreme happiness and expansion.
Finally, people with obsessive personality traits, extremely orderly habits, and to be meticulous and perfectionistThey can develop situational depression. In which the person experiences short-term depression as a result of noticeable and unforeseen vital changes.
Conversely, regardless of the type of depressive disorder a person may be experiencing, recent research has found a relationship between certain personality traits and a lower risk of depression.
These factors are outgoing personality and emotional stability:
By extroversion or by extroverted people we mean all those who they like to be with more people, they are sociable, they have a large network of friends and they are very involved in the outside world around them. In addition, they are action-oriented, energetic, assertive people and the attention is directed to the outside world and not so much to their own interior.
2. Emotional stability
Another personality trait that has recently been seen as a protective factor against depression is emotional stability. Emotional stability refers to the ability we have to remain mentally stable and balanced. If a person does not have this stability, they will tend to experience negative emotions more recurrently.
What do the surveys reveal?
In a recent study, conducted by a group of psychologists at the University of Buffalo, a number of results were obtained that support the hypothesis that if a person is outgoing and diligent, these personality traits offer protection against depression. , although neuroticism is his main personality trait.
That is, even if a person has a predominantly neurotic personality (remember neuroticism facilitates depression), if they are also extroverted, this trait will carry more weight when it comes to protecting them from depression.
The results of this research suggest that we need to stop focusing on specific personality traits and observe how combinations of these traits can predict and protect the person dealing with disorders such as depression.
The Naragon-Gainey study
As mentioned above, the team of research psychologists at the University of Buffalo, led by Professor Kristin Naragon-Gainley; they interviewed 463 adult participants for whom they had received psychiatric treatment for at least the last two years prior to the interview.
After the interview, participants completed a large number of psychological tests and questionnaires in which the traits of neuroticism, extraversion and consciousness were assessed, as these three traits are those that show a stronger relationship with mood disorders and anxiety.
The results obtained in this study may shed light on how the combination of certain personality traits promotes the development of certain emotional disorders such as depression or anxiety or, on the contrary, protects the person from them.
According to Professor Naragon-Gainey, high levels of extraversion are a strength for the person, because encourages social interactions and participation in rewarding activities. This extraversion promotes the creation of a stable social network through which to gain support, as well as a positive affectivity derived from interaction with social media.
Likewise, high levels of scruple or thoroughness they are closely linked to the pursuit and achievement of objectives and the implementation of plans. This is useful in combating the rejection and avoidance that can accompany neuroticism.
In addition, thanks to these discoveries, professionals in psychology and psychiatry will be able to strengthen, through psychological treatments, the personality traits that studies have identified as protective.