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Scand J Rehabil Med. 1997 Jun;29(2):91-6.

Comorbidity of personality disorders and major depression in patients with somatoform pain disorders or medical illnesses with long-standing work disability.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden.


The comorbidity between major depression and personality disorders in patients with long-standing work disability at a rehabilitation clinic was investigated. Sixty patients with a somatoform pain disorder and 66 patients with different medical illnesses were assessed by means of a self rating scale for major depression, and the SCID screen personality disorder questionnaire. In the total series, 27% of the patients had a diagnosis of major depression and 34.9% had at least one personality disorder. Personality disorders were significantly more common in patients with medical illness than in patients with a somatoform pain disorder. There was a high frequency of comorbidity between major depression and personality disorders, especially borderline and avoidant personality disorders. If this is due to a common pathogenetic mechanism, it could explain why SSRIs are effective in both depression and some personality disorders.

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