Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Comparative Study of Depressive and Spiritual Personality among Post-Graduate Students

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Comparative Study of Depressive and Spiritual Personality among Post-Graduate Students

Article excerpt

Almost every day we describe and assess the personalities of the people around us. Whether we realize it or not, these daily musings on how and why people behave as they do, are similar to what personality psychologists do. While our informal assessments of personality tend to focus more on individuals, personality psychologists instead use conceptions of personality that can apply to everyone. Personality research has led to the development of a number of theories that help in explaining how and why certain personality traits develop. To a layman, 'Personality' is used in a sense of social attractiveness but from the psychological point of view everyone has characteristics that are included under the term personality which varies in several ways.

Personality refers to psychological qualities and organizational structure, which differentiate one with another human being. It is the sum totals of attributes that make one unique and distinctive. It encompasses temperament, mood, character, physical appearance and behaviours. The origin fuses biological, psychological and social experience. Personality is the particular combination of emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral response patterns of an individual. Different personality theorists present their own definitions of the word based on their theoretical positions (Engler, 2009).

According to Gordon Allport (1961), personality is "the dynamic organization within the individuals of those psycho-physical systems that determines his characteristics behaviour and thoughts or unique adjustments to the environments". Hence personality is a sum total of ways in which an individual reacts and interacts with others. Personality is the impression an individual make on others. It depends on his/her social skills, charismatic qualities and the like (Hall and Gardner, 1985). Carducci (2009) identified three features common to most of these definitions. They are: uniqueness of the individual, consistency of behaviour, and content and process of personality. A brief definition would be that personality is made up of the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that make a person unique. In addition to this, personality arises from within the individual and remains fairly consistent throughout life.

The present paper includes two different dimension of personality, i.e., Depressive and Spiritual Personality. By 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of world disability, and by 2030 it is expected to be the largest contributor to disease burden. WHO ranks depression as the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide and projects that by 2020, it will be the second. Depression affects 121 million people worldwide. It can affect a person's ability to work, form relationships, and destroy their quality of life. At its most severe depression can lead to suicide and is responsible for 850,000 deaths every year. Depression is a disorder of major public health importance, in terms of its prevalence and the suffering, dysfunction, morbidity, and economic burden. The average age of depression in India is 31.9 years as compared to 18.8 years in China and 22.7 years in the US. According to WHO, Indians are among the world's most depressed.

People with depressive personality have a generally gloomy outlook on life, themselves, the past and the future. They are plagued by issues developing and maintaining relationships. In addition, studies have found that people with depressive personality disorder are more likely to seek psychotherapy than people with Axis I depression spectrums diagnoses. Kwom et al (2000) have concluded that people with depressive personality are at a greater risk of developing dysthymic disorder than a comparable group of people without depressive personality disorder. If included in the DSM-V, depressive personality disorder would be included as a warning sign for potential development of more severe depressive episodes.

Depression is a common diagnosis in primary care practices, accounting for 6% to 20% of all patient visits (Barry et al. …

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