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Temperament and Character in Psychosomatic Disorders

Medine Yazıcı Güleç.

Abstract
Personality plays an important role in the etiology of psychosomatic disorders. The studies investigating personality features with Temperament and Character Inventory according to psychobiological model is considered to have a major role in understanding the relationship between personality and psychosomatic disorders. We have done a database search in Pubmed and Turk Psikiyatri Dizini (Turkish Psychiatry Directory) for the time period between 1991 and 2009 to determine and evaluate the articles conducted among somatization, dermatologic illness, headache, physical medicine, angina, irritable bowel syndrome and asthma patients using Temperament and Character Inventory. The most significant consistent result of these studies was elevated harm avoidance scores. Harm avoidance scores still remain high even after controlling for the effect of depression and anxiety. Thus this temperament dimension is possibly an important state and trait feature for development of psychosomatic illnesses. These findings also confirmed that serotonergic systems get involved in the process of psychosomatic organization. In many studies, the mean scores of self direction sub-dimension of Temperament and Character Inventory which has been considered as fundamental dimension to achieve mature personality, was found to be lower in psychosomatic patient groups than normal healthy control. Overall the research studies support the notion that course of the diseases clearly affect the personality features among these patients. Detailed evaluation of temperament and character profiles of psychosomatic patients would contribute much into understanding the etiology of these disorders.

Key words: Psychosomatic disorders, somatization, temperament and character



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