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Seven out of ten adolescents with mental illness suffer from chronic pain. And it is the depressed girls who are most in pain. Pain in the muscles and skeleton is at the peak of the pain.

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7 out of 10 adolescents with mental disorders also have chronic pain writes further:

For the first time, research has been done on the physical pain that young people with many different mental disorders struggle with. 

The study was conducted at NTNU in Trondheim and included 566 young people between the ages of 13 and 18 with the diagnoses ADHD, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and a range of autistic disorders. All of them answered a questionnaire about whether they have pain in the body, what kind of pain it is and where they are in pain. 

The results of the study showed that as many as seven out of ten answered that they have chronic pain.


Girls with depression have the most pain in the body

In adolescents who were depressed, the number was even higher - eight out of ten had chronic pain. There was pain in the muscles and skeleton that were at the peak of the pain. The girls were in more pain than the boys, regardless of diagnosis. 

The researchers tell NTNU that the findings are not surprising, but that they give a clear signal that physical pain must receive more attention in the treatment of mental disorders.


Treatment must also be given for the physical ailments

An important point is that the pain and the mental disorders cannot be treated independently of each other, but that the treatment must think holistically and take care of the young people both in relation to the mental ailments and the physical pain that they experience.

Closer collaboration with physiotherapists is recommended for adolescents with mental disorders, as the incidence of physical ailments is so high in adolescents with various forms of mental disorders.



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