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State and trait in psychiatric practice
Am J Psychiatry 1979;136:690-693.
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Abstract

The authors present a schema for conceptualizing psychiatric illness in terms of state and trait disorders. These disorders are relatively independent components, one or both of which can be present in one patient. They usually require treatment by different methods. State disorders, such as schizophrenic psychosis, mania, and depression, are time-limited and autonomous and respond better to pharmacological than psychosocial therapy. Trait disorders, such as neurotic and characterological disturbances, are long-lasting and respond better to psychosocial therapies. The authors discuss the implications of this schema for the integration of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments.

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