The relationship between depression and borderline disorder is unclear.
Using standardized observer- and subject-rated scales for depression, the
authors compared patients satisfying DSM-III criteria for borderline
personality disorder and dysthymic disorder. The two groups did not differ
on depression as defined by the scales; however, there was a substantial
intergroup difference on certain characteristics of the depression spectrum
thought empirically to be associated more often with the borderline
patient. The depth and quality of the depression of the borderline patient
may largely overlap with that of the dysthymic patient, but it also
possesses features that make it qualitatively distinct.