Memory specificity in borderline personality disorder : associations with depression and self-discrepancy
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry. - Oxford
, p. S51-S59
Reduced memory specificity (RMS) is a robust finding in (previously) depressed patients and patients suffering from posttraumatic symptoms. It has been associated with depression severity, rumination, and more recently with cue content (e.g., cues referring to highly discrepant self-guides are assumed to hinder specific memory retrieval more likely than cues that match ones self-concept). In this study we have investigated the presence of these relationships in 34 patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). All participants completed the Self-Description Questionnaire (SDQ), the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and the Ruminative Response Scale (RRS). First, it was observed that both rumination and depression severity were associated with RMS. However, when confounding between rumination and depression severity was considered using partial correlations, only depression severity was found to be significantly associated with RMS. Second, in the currently depressed BPD patients (n = 11), memory specificity was significantly related to cue content suggesting that, at least for depressed BPD patients RMS is related to the extent to which cues activate highly discrepant personal domains. Although our data suggest that depression severity as well as current depression (in interaction with cue content) play an important role in the occurrence of RMS in BPD, we will discuss that these findings could be moderated by posttraumatic stress and/or executive functioning.