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Are there personality traits that protect from depression?

Are there personality traits that protect from depression?

April 6, 2024

Can the personality of a person condition it when developing a mental disorder? Do you have an extraverted person less susceptible to suffering from a depressive disorder?

Recent studies point to the idea that there are certain personality traits that protect the person from depression or other emotional problems. Throughout this article we will discuss what they are and we will see explanations about why they could prevent us from depressive disorders.

  • Related article: "Are there several types of depression?"

Personality and depressive disorders

While it is true that anyone is susceptible to suffering from a depressive disorder, and although there are many factors that influence when developing a depression, personality traits are those that influence more exert.

Thus, just as there are certain personality traits that make the person more vulnerable when it comes to developing depression, recent studies reveal that there are others who can have a protective effect on the mental health of the person .

As for the features that, along with many other factors, could favor the appearance of a depression are the neurotic personality, the cyclothymic and the personality with obsessive tendencies.

  • Maybe you're interested: "The 5 big personality traits: sociability, responsibility, openness, kindness and neuroticism"

Personality traits that prevent depression

Those people with neurotic personality traits tend to experience many insecurities accompanied by feelings of inferiority, this way of being makes them more vulnerable to suffer a class of depression known as dysthymic disorder. Which is distinguished by presenting a low self-esteem and a melancholy and sad mood that remains over time.

In contrast, in the cyclothymic personality, the person he tends to suffer ups and downs in his mood . This oscillation, together with a series of external factors, can bring on the person the appearance of a bipolar disorder, in which the person goes from feeling deeply sad and depressed to periods of extreme happiness and expansiveness.

Finally, people with obsessive personality traits, with extremely orderly habits, and being meticulous and perfectionists , can develop a situational depression. In which the person experiences a short-term depression as a result of remarkable and unforeseen life changes.

On the contrary, whatever the type of depressive disorder that may be suffered by the person, recent research has found a relationship between certain personality traits and a lower risk of suffering depression.

These factors are the extraverted personality and emotional stability :

1. Extraversion

We understand extroversion or extroverted people, all those who they enjoy being with more people, they are sociable, they have an extensive network of friendships and they have a great involvement with the outside world that surrounds them. In addition, they are action-oriented, energetic, assertive people whose attention is directed to the outside world and not so much to their own interior.

  • Maybe you're interested: "Differences between extraverted, introverted and timid people"

2. Emotional stability

Another personality trait that has recently been considered as a protective factor against depression is emotional stability. Emotional stability refers to the ability that people have to keep us mentally stable and balanced. If a person does not have this stability, he will tend to experience negative emotions more recurrently .

What do the investigations reveal?

In a recent study, carried out by a group of psychologists from the University of Buffalo, a series of results were obtained that support the hypothesis that if a person is extraverted and applied, these personality traits offer protection against depression, even neuroticism being its main personality trait .

That is, even though a person has a predominantly neurotic personality (remember that neuroticism facilitates depression), if this is also extroverted this feature will weigh more when it comes to protecting against depression.

The findings made in this research suggest that it is necessary to stop focusing on specific personality traits and observe how combinations of these traits can predict and protect the person facing disorders such as depression.

  • Related article: "Neurosis (neuroticism): causes, symptoms and characteristics"

The study of Naragon-Gainey

As mentioned earlier, the team of research psychologists at the University of Buffalo, headed by Professor Kristin Naragon-Gainley; They interviewed 463 adult participants who had been in psychiatric treatment, at least in the last two years before 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 evaluated, since these three traits are those that have a stronger relationship with alterations in mood and anxiety.

The results obtained in this study can shed light on how the combination of certain personality traits favor the development of certain emotional disorders such as depression or anxiety or, on the contrary, protect the person from these.

According to professor Naragon-Gainey, high levels of extraversion represent a strength for the person, since favors social interactions and participation in activities that are rewarding . This extraversion favors the creation of a stable social network through which to obtain support, as well as a positive affectivity derived from the interaction with social media.

Likewise, the high levels of scrupulousness or thoroughness they are highly related to the search and achievement of objectives, and the implementation of plans. This is useful to combat the rejection and avoidance that may accompany neuroticism.

In addition, thanks to these findings, professionals in psychology and psychiatry will be able to reinforce, through psychological treatments, those personality traits that studies have indicated as protective.

8 Signs You're Suffering from Depression Without Knowing It (April 2024).

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