Somatized depression as a subgroup of fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome

An increase of depressive symptoms in fibromyalgia patients

has been noted in a number of studies. The etiologic

significance of this finding remains, however, controversial.

We suggest that a subgroup of patients with this symptom

combination may be pragmatically classified as suffering from

somatized depression. Clinical indicators such as a family

history of depressive disorders, circadian disturbances,

pronounced loss of appetite or libido, and chronic

psychosocial stressors should be assessed and, if present,

prompt the initiation of psychiatric evaluation and treatment

including pharmaco- and psychotherapeutic modalities. Other

psychiatric diseases arising in the differential diagnosis of

fibromyalgia are discussed.

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