New Research: Depression, Anxiety Linked to Chronic Pain

Last modified: August 2, 2019

Richard Honaker M.D.
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A recent survey has revealed that plenty of adults who suffer from anxiety, depression or another mood disorder report undergoing chronic pain as well.

Researchers from the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University have found out that almost half of the people surveyed with a mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder report experiencing chronic pain as well.

Connection Between Physical Symptoms and Mental Health

The pronouncement of the survey results, which show the connection between physical symptoms and mental health can be found online in the Journal of Affective Disorders. According to the senior author of the research, the twofold burden of chronic pain and anxiety and mood disorders like depression is an important growing problem.

The research investigated survey facts and statistics to analyze connections between DSM-IV diagnosed anxiety and mood disorders like depression and self-reported chronic pain among over five thousand adults in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The survey participants were also interviewed in person.

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Chronic Pain Reported by Study Participants to be Most Common for those with Depression and Anxiety

Among people who suffer from depression or any other mood disorder, chronic pain was the most common as reported by half of the participants. Next to chronic pain was respiratory diseases at 33 percent, cardiovascular disease at 10 percent, arthritis at 9 percent, and diabetes at 7 percent.

45 Percent Correlation Between Anxiety and Chronic Pain

Anxiety disorders were also frequent for those with chronic pain disorder at 45 percent, respiratory at 30 percent, arthritis at 11 percent, and cardiovascular disease also at 11 percent.

People with two or more chronic diseases had higher risks of depression or another mood disorder or anxiety disorder. Hypertension was also connected with anxiety disorder and mood disorder like depression at 23 percent.

According to the senior author, the results reveal new information on the public health impact of the twofold burden of physical illness like chronic pain and mental illness, such as depression and anxiety disorders.

Chronic pain combined with a psychiatric disorder is a critical matter that health care providers should reflect on when designing preventive interventions and treatment services. More careful consideration should be taken most especially in the design specifics for the heavy mental health encumbrance experienced by those who have two or more chronic diseases.

depression-anxiety-chronic pain

Is Tailored Treatment an Option?

Since those who have a combination of chronic pain and psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety disorders experience more problems, it’s only natural that they get a more tailored and hands on intervention and treatment services.

With the findings of the research and the recommendations of the researchers, hope for better preventive interventions and treatment services for people who suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, chronic pain, and other related illnesses is almost within reach. And better mental and physical health becomes more achievable for everyone.

Do you have anxiety, depression or chronic pain questions? Chat with a doctor for free today.

dr-richard-honakerRichard A. Honaker, M.D. — Chief Medical Advisor at YourDoctors.Online

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Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker:

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.

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