More about catastrophizing

It is not surprising that persistent pain can cause depression, but a study just published in The Journal of Pain suggests a possible mechanism and more importantly a possible treatment. Australian doctors examined 669 patients who were over 60 years old and were seen at a pain clinic. Catastrophizing, measured by a validated scale, was a reliable predictor of depression. They showed a strong correlation between pain intensity, catastrophizing, and depression. That is, if someone tended to think thoughts such as, “I will never get better” or “I cannot go on like this” they were also more likely to be depressed. Fortunately, this kind of thinking can be changed with psychological interventions and such change usually leads to improvement in pain.

Art credit:

Submit comment