Disordered personality traits in primary headaches

Wei Wang1, Tingzhong Yang2, Huanqing Zhu3, Fuqiang Mao4, W. John Livesley5, Roseann M. Larstone5, Kerry L. Jang5
1Zhejiang University School of Medicine and Anhui Medical University, People’s Republic of China
2Zhejiang University School of Medicine, People’s Republic of China
3Hainan Medical College, People’s Republic of China
4Tianjing Medical University, People’s Republic of China
5University of British Columbia, Canada
Cite this article:  Wang, W., Yang, T., Zhu, H., Mao, F., Livesley, W. J., Larstone, R. M., & Jang, K. L. (2005). Disordered personality traits in primary headaches. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 33(5), 495-502.

Volume 33 Issue 5 | e1412 | Published: August 2005 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2005.33.5.495

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Previous researchers have shown an association between primary headaches and some extreme features of normal personality traits, however, studies of the relationship between these headaches and the disordered or abnormal personality traits are still needed. In this study we sought to examine the disordered personality trait profiles in patients with migraine, tension-type headaches compared to healthy controls. Disordered personality traits were assessed using the Dimensional Assessment of Personality Pathology (DAPP; Livesley & Jackson, in press), a self-report measure of abnormal personality function that subsumes major models of normal personality, in 41 patients with chronic headaches (CTH), 34 frequent episodic tension-type headaches (FETH), and 48 migraines without aura, as well as 37 headache-free healthy control individuals. All patient groups scored significantly higher than healthy controls on submissiveness, cognitive distortion, identity problems, intimacy problems, social avoidance, and self-harm. In addition, the migraine group scored higher on submissiveness than did the FETH group. Our findings, thus, confirmed personality dysfunctions in primary headache sufferers.

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