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Many with chronic pain have a history of depression

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Many with chronic pain have a history of depression

Women bear the brunt of both conditions, study finds

Journalist

Often people who are going through depression experience unexplained physical symptoms such as back pain or headaches that can weigh them down. Similarly, going through chronic pain can be so overwhelming that sufferers sometimes go into depression, creating a vicious cycle in which pain worsens symptoms of depression and depression worsens the feeling of pain.

Researchers at the University of Cape Town say the link between these two conditions should not be overlooked and clinicians should treat them both holistically.

In a new study done in a Cape Town pain management clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital they found that almost a third of about 620 patients, or 32% who presented with chronic pain, had a history of depression. This is three times higher than the national lifetime prevalence of depression of about 10% in the country...

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