Depression and Type D Personality among Undergraduate Medical Students

Article excerpt

Byline: Soma. Gupta, Prosenjit. Basak

Context: Academic pressure, though established, is an unavoidable cause of depression in medical students. Role of Type D personality as determinant of depression is a new approach to the problem. Aim: Determination of relationship between Type D personality and Depression among medical students. Setting and Design: Undergraduate students (both male and female, total 150) of Midnapore Medical College. Materials and Methods: Beck Depression Inventory for depression and DS 14 for type D personality. Statistical Analysis: The scores were expressed as mean + SD. The significance of difference between the scores was done by Fisher's 2 sample t test. Results and Conclusion: Prevalence rate of depression was 45.3%, which was mostly of mild type (34%). Type D personality was present in 70% cases of which 15.3% had only negative affectivity, 23.3% had only social inhibition and 31% had both the components. Both depression & Type D personality were present in 36% cases. Negative affectivity component was significantly associated with depression which could be therapeutically controlled.

Introduction

The World Health Organization has identified depressive disorders of adolescence as "priority mental health disorder." Globally, its prevalence rate is 15 to 20% and recurrence rate is 60-70% whereas in India it is reported as 11.2%. However, studies have reported that 50% of cases remain undiagnosed. The consequences of this depression are serious, causing suicide, school dropout, and drug abuse etc., Often adolescent depression leads to adult depression. [sup][1]

Young medical students are no exception to this trend. Studies have already reported that depression is the most common mental disease affecting them. [sup][2] The rate of depression and suicide have been found to be higher in medical students than other undergraduate students. Academic burden, though have been identified as source of depression, [sup][3] cannot be changed. So other determinants of depression should be worked out which could be treated and contribute for benefit of the students.

One situation is handled by different students in different ways which largely depends on the personality of the students. Recently, a new type of personality, type D had been established which can be regarded as psychopathological condition as these individuals are at increased risk of developing psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, panic or phobic disorder, and medical disorders like cardiovascular disease and stroke. [sup][4] It involves those who tend to experience negative distress and who do not express these in social interaction. Thus, type D personality is based on two stable personality traits, negative affect (NA) and social inhibition (SI), and gives an interaction between them.

Negative affect is the tendency to experience negative emotions like depressed or low mood, hopelessness, anger, and anxiety etc., Those people scoring high on negative affect are not only dysphoric, but also have negative views about self, future, world, and present many somatic symptoms. SI is an avoidance of potential dangers involved in social interacting situations. They fell uncomfortable, shy, tense, and inhibited while interacting with people. [sup][5]

In this backdrop, the present study was undertaken to find out the prevalence of depression and type D personality among medical students and to find out whether they bear any significant correlation or not.

Materials and Methods

A total of 150 undergraduate medical students of different academic years of Midnapore Medical College were selected. Students known to suffer from hypothyroidism or diabetes were excluded from this study. Students who were taking antihypertensive drugs, beta blockers, anticonvulsants, or corticosteroids were not included in this study. Students of all academic years were included in the study. …