Background A major shortcoming of current research into personality is its failure to explore the relationship between theories of general personality and mental disorder.\ud \ud Aims To provide preliminary data to address this deficit.\ud \ud Method In the first of two studies, we examined the relationship between the Neuroticism, Extraversion and Other — Five-Factor Inventory (NEO—FFI) and DSM personality disorders in a consecutive series of mentally disordered offenders. In the second, we sought to separate the personality dimension neuroticism from symptoms of depressive disorder in a sample of subjects with current depression.\ud \ud Results Factors from the NEO—FFI were associated with different personality disorders in a predictable manner (first study). It was possible to identify a component of neuroticism (i.e. ‘worry’) that could be separated from depressive symptoms (second study).\ud \ud Conclusions Theories of general personality theory can enlighten and refine descriptions of abnormal mental states by informing both their aetiology and their prognosis
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