Personality traits, brie' recurrent depression and attempted suicide

  • H. W. Pretorius
  • W. Bodemer
  • J. L. Roos
  • J. Grimbeek


This study investigated the relationship between attempted suicide, personality factors and brief recurrent depression. Over a period of 1 year, the demographic and psychiatric factors of 307 patients who had attempted suicide and subsequently been hospitalised at H. F. Verwoerd Hospital and referred to its Department of Psychiatry were recorded. Their personality traits were evaluated clinically. After 5 years, 205 respondents were traced to complete a follow-up questionnaire and, where possible, a personality assessment was completed on clinical grounds. They were also evaluated for brief recurrent depression. Among the men, antisocial, dependent and histrionic personality traits, in that order, were most commonly noted and among the women, histrionic, dependent and antisocial traits. A clear relationship between suicidal behaviour and the syndrome of brief recurrent depression was established. The latter was also found to be related to histrionic personality traits in women. This underscores the relationship between suicide attempts and histrionic personality traits.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135