In the history of the DSM, two disorders have been proposed for consideration that shared much in common – self-defeating personality disorder (SDPD) and depressive personality disorder (DPD). In a previous paper, it was reported that SDPD (n = 34) and DPD (n = 240) shared a diagnostic overlap of 70%. It was concluded that SDPD could not be empirically supported as a diagnostic category. In this paper, the overlap of the two disorders was explored further in this same sample (n = 1,200) of psychiatric outpatients. We found that symptoms of the two disorders were positively correlated. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) provided strong support for a model with two distinct, but very highly correlated constructs. Based on the hypothesis that SDPD and DPD are separate but related, a second-order CFA factor was fit to the data to further examine the strong association between the two disorders. Taken collectively, it is concluded that DPD and SDPD are components of the same construct, and that the current DPD and SDPD diagnoses as proposed in the DSM are actually subtypes of a common personality pathology (i.e. a second-order factor).

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