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MS Symptoms Coupled With Poor Self-Esteem Can Lead To Serious Depression

July 20, 2017

A recent Canadian study found that fatigue, limited mobility, and poor self-esteem or resiliency were found to be associated with periods of serious depression among multiple sclerosis (MS). The study, titled “Determinants and incidence of depression in multiple sclerosis: A prospective cohort study,” was published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. There has been previous research done about depression and how it effects MS patients, but only a few studies have addressed the incidence of depression among MS patients or the risk factors that may underlie its occurrence.

The study consisted of 188 MS patients in an Alberta clinic, who were interviewed to assess potential risk factors for depression. These risks include socioeconomic status, disease-related factors, childhood risk factors, psychosocial factors, and health behaviors. Patients completed the Patient Health Questionnaire every two weeks for six months. After a six month follow-up, 36 cases of depression were reported among the group of MS patients analyzed.

Several factors were found to be associated with depression in these patients: fatigue, limited mobility, low resiliency, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and poor coping skills. Gender and income were associated with depression as well. Overall, the researchers concluded that “depression in MS exhibits a risk factor profile similar to that of depression in the general population, with the additional impact of MS illness-related factors. Potentially modifiable risk factors, such as coping with stress and resiliency, present opportunities for focus of further research in depression in MS treatment and prevention efforts.”