Half of people with anxiety or depression also report chronic pain.png


“The dual burden of chronic physical conditions and mood and anxiety disorders is a significant and growing problem,” said Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and senior author. Science Daily

It was a survey of people with anxiety, depression or bipolar. And half were found to suffer from chronic pain, according to Journal of Affective Disorders and Columbia Universitys’ mailman School of Publis Health.

It looked at 5,037 adults in São Paulo, Brazil to examine survey data and see if there was associations between DSM-IV diagnosed mental illnesses (mood and anxiety disorders) and self-reported chronic physical conditions. The subjects were then interviewed in person.

  • With mood disorders chronic pain was the most common with it being reported by 50%, followed by respiratory disease at 33%, cardiovascular disease at 10%, arthritis at 9%, hypertension 23%, and diabetes at 7%.
  • With anxiety chronic pain disorders were at 45%, respiratory, 30%, arthritis 11% and cardiovascular 11%, hypertension 23%.
  • People with 2 or more chronic illnesses had an increased odds of a mood or anxiety disorder. Science Daily

“These results shed new light on the public health impact of the dual burden of physical and mental illness,” said Dr. Martins. “Chronic disease coupled with a psychiatric disorder is a pressing issue that health providers should consider when designing preventive interventions and treatment services — especially the heavy mental health burden experienced by those with two or more chronic diseases.” Science Daily

This result doesn’t surprise me. The fact anxiety and depression are highly comorbid to pain shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider the impact of pain as well as the changes it makes structurally and neurologically to the brain over time. However, it can complicate coping and certainly therefore should be considered with every treatment protocol of pain.

It should be actively assessed I think, because for me, I thought the depressive feelings were Normal due to the pain. I mean Pain, doesn’t ecactly make you a happy camper, now does it? I thought suicidal ideation was normal and in fact that can occur in pain without depression. I did begin to think it was serious when it interfered with my life, but, hell, the chronic pain already was interfering with my life as well. If someone had assessed me I wouldn’t have hidden it until it was too late to actually hide it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.