Neurovegetative symptoms in chronic pain and depression.
The pattern and frequency of neurovegetative symptoms was studied in 57 patients with chronic pain. Seventy-nine percent of these patients had a diagnosable depressive illness, but endogenous depression was rare (5%). Patients with chronic pain were divided into major depressives, minor/intermittent depressives and patients with no depression. A control group of nonendogenous major depressives without pain was also utilized. Major depressives differed from the other two chronic pain groups in that there was more frequent or severe early waking, weight loss, anorexia, diminished libido and initial insomnia. Diurnal variation of mood was not a characteristic of major depression with chronic pain, and did not differ in frequency from the other two chronic pain groups. Major depressives exhibited a profile of neurovegetative symptoms very similar to that found in the control group of major depressives. Over one-third of minor/intermittent depressed patients with chronic pain exhibited atypical (reversed) vegetative symptoms of hyperphagia and weight gain. This finding, together with our review of the literature, suggests an important and previously unrecognized link between atypical depression and chronic pain.
Davidson, J; Krishnan, R; France, R; Pelton, S
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