In an epidemiological population study 87 subjects were studied with home sleep recordings. Nineteen subjects had minor psychiatric disorders: six subjects had a minor depression, six subjects had a generalized anxiety disorder, and seven subjects had a mild vegetative discomfort syndrome. Syndrome profiles of the three groups, using the AMDP system, showed a significantly higher degree of insomnia in the anxiety group than in the depressive group. The mean rapid eye movement (REM) latency in the anxiety group was significantly longer than in the other groups, including normals. The study showed a slight tendency towards a reduced REM latency in the minor depressives, but no statistical significance was obtained.
Subjective health complaints without or with minimal somatic findings (pain, fatigue) are common and frequent reasons for encounter with the general practitioner and for long-term sickness leave and disability. The complaints are often attributed to the stressors of modern life. Is this true? We interviewed 120 Aborigine Mangyans (native population, M age = 33.5 years, 72.5% women) living under primitive conditions in the jungle of Mindoro, an island in the Philippines, and 101 persons living in a small coastal town on the same island (coastal population, M age = 33.8 years, 60.4% women). Both groups had more musculoskeletal complaints, fatigue, mood changes, and gastrointestinal complaints than a representative sample from the Norwegian population (N = 1,243). Our common subjective health complaints, therefore, are not specific for industrialized societies.
Co-occurrence of mental and somatic symptoms is common, and recent longitudinal studies have identified single trajectories of these symptoms, but it is poorly known whether the symptom trajectories can also co-occur and change across the lifespan. We aimed to examine co-occurring symptoms and their joint trajectories from adolescence to midlife.
Longitudinal data were derived from Northern Sweden, where 506 girls and 577 boys aged 16?years participated at baseline in 1981 (99.7% of those initially invited), and have been followed up in four waves until the age of 43. Survey data were collected about depressive, anxiety, and somatic symptoms. Potential joint development of this three-component symptom set was examined with multiple response trajectory analysis, a method that has not been previously used to study co-occurrence of these symptoms.
We identified a five trajectory solution as the best: "very low" (19%), "low" (31%), "high" (22%), "late sharply increasing" (16%) and a "very high increasing" (12%). In the "late sharply increasing" and "very high increasing" groups the scores tended to increase with age, while in the other groups the levels were more stable. Overall, the results indicated that depressive, anxiety, and somatic symptoms co-exist from adolescence to midlife.
The multiple response trajectory analysis confirmed high stability in the co-occurrence of depressive, anxiety, and somatic symptoms from adolescence to midlife. Clinicians should consider these findings to detect symptoms in their earliest phase in order to prevent the development of co-occurring high levels of symptoms.
The study aimed to investigate cross-cultural differences in the relation between community violence and psychopathology. A self-report survey was conducted in a representative sample of 3,309 14-17 year old adolescents from urban communities in the US (N = 1,343), Belgium (N = 946) and Russia (N = 1,009). In all three countries, boys reported higher prevalences of violence exposure and more victimization by community violence than girls. Controlling for involvement in antisocial behavior, levels of psychopathology increased along with severity of exposure to community violence (from no exposure to witnessing to victimization). The associations between community violence and internalizing problems were similar across countries and gender. Current findings suggest that the relationships between community violence and adolescent mental health are not culture bound and that they follow similar dynamics in different populations. Clinical implications and directions are discussed.
The aim of the present 15-year follow-up was to study the association between childhood psychological symptoms and sense of coherence (SOC) in adolescence. Destructive behaviour at three years, attention problems and thought problems at 12 years, attention problems, anxiety/depression, delinquency and somatic complaints at 15 years predicted a poor SOC at 18 years. Problems reported by adolescents themselves explained a poor SOC much more often than problems reported by parents. The identification of early childhood behavioural problems helps us to identify children at risk of ill-being in adolescence since problems seem to persist unchanged until that period of life.
The "amalgam unit" at the Huddinge University Hospital in Sweden examined 379 of 1300 patients referred for health problems which the patients related to amalgam tooth fillings. Toxicologic, clinical, odontological, and psychiatric examinations were performed. More than 30% had medical causes for their complaints; 7% had severe diseases which had been unrecognized. The most common symptoms were diffuse pain, general weakness, fatigue, headache, and difficulties in concentrating. Anxiety and depression were the most prevalent psychiatric complaints. The psychological examination revealed a high prevalence of somatization. The treatment was information about mercury and amalgam, appropriate odontological routines without removal of intact amalgam fillings, medical therapy when necessary, and strengthening of the patients' social networks. Ninety percent were satisfied with the treatment. The results indicate that there are various explanations for the complaints of patients fearing "amalgam disease". No cases of mercury intoxication were found.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) onset during adolescence has the potential to disrupt a key period of psychosocial maturation.
We aimed to examine the prevalence and risk factors associated with emotional and behavioral outcomes in adolescents with MS.
The Behavioral Assessment System for Children-2nd Edition (BASC-2) was completed by 31 adolescents with MS (mean age = 16.1 years), 31 age-matched controls, and parents of all participants. BASC-2 outcomes were compared between groups. Base rates were examined for scores falling at least one or two standard deviations below norm. Associations between BASC-2 outcomes and features of disease severity and IQ were examined.
Youth with MS were reported by their parents to have more symptoms of depression and somatization and lower adaptive skills compared with reports by parents of controls. On the self-report, patients endorsed more problems of inattention/hyperactivity and lower self-reliance relative to controls. Behavioral concerns and reduced adaptive functioning in the MS group were associated with fatigue, poor relations with parents, and perceived social stress. Psychosocial outcomes did not associate with number of relapses, Expanded Disability Status Scale score, disease duration, brain lesion volume or IQ.
Youth with MS are at risk of difficulties in behavioral and emotional health. Relations with parents emerged as a key factor influencing the emotional well-being of youth with MS, suggesting an important role for family-centered care in this population.
Although health effects of social relationships are well-researched, long-term health consequences of adolescent family as well as peer relationships are poorly understood. The aim of the study was to explore the prospective importance of parental and peer social relationships in adolescence on internalising and functional somatic symptoms in adulthood.
Data were drawn from four waves of the Northern Swedish Cohort Study, response rate 94.3%, N=1001. Outcome variables were internalising and functional somatic symptoms at the ages of 21, 30 and 42. Relationship variables at age 16 were poor parental contact and three indicators of poor peer relationships. Associations were assessed in multivariate ordinal logistic regressions with adjustment for confounders and baseline health.
Results show that the main relationships-related predictors of adult internalising symptoms were self-rated poor peer relationships in terms of spending time alone during after-school hours and poor parental relationship. Functional somatic symptoms on the other hand were most strongly associated with poor parental contact and not being happy with classmates at age 16.
The quality of parental and peer relationships in adolescence predicts adult mental and functional somatic health as much as 26 years later, even when accounting for confounders and adolescent symptomatology. This study extends past research by exploring how both adolescent parental and peer relationships (self-reported as well as teacher reported) predict adult self-reported health.
The long-term impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) has most typically been concentrated on the psychological outcomes. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between CSA and self-reported complaints including both psychological and psychosomatic problems as well as absenteeism. A random sample of 510 female and 486 male students completed a questionnaire that included questions about CSA. The overall response rate was 75.3%. A symptom scale was constructed by asking the respondents to rate themselves on a three-category scale for 13 items concerning both psychological and somatic health problems. They were also asked to indicate how many days the problem had caused them to be absent from class or work during the year prior to the study. CSA was reported by 116 of the students (11.7%). CSA was associated with a broad range of health problems; including genital pain/infections and headache/abdominal/muscular pain as well as psychological disorders such as anxiety and suicidal ideations. A linear relationship was demonstrated between the severity of CSA and the symptom score, as well as between the severity of CSA and days absent from work. Postpubertal onset of abuse and close relationship with the offender were positively associated with the number of sick-leave days.
In a representative Swedish sample, we investigated lifetime prevalence of physical, sexual and psychological abuse of women and their current suffering. The relationship between current suffering from abuse and psychological health problems was also studied.
The study was cross-sectional and population-based. The Abuse Screening Inventory (ASI), measuring experiences of physical, sexual and psychological abuse and including questions on health and social situation, was sent by mail to 6000 women, randomly selected from the population register. The questionnaire was completed and returned by 4150 (70%) of 5896 eligible women.
27.5% of the women reported abuse of any kind. Of those, 69.5% reported current suffering from abuse. Abused suffering women reported more anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances, and a less advantageous social situation than both non-abused and abused non-suffering women. Also, abused non-suffering women reported more depression than non-abused women. Somatization was reported more often by both abused suffering and non-suffering women than by non-abused women, with no difference between suffering and non-suffering women when adjusted for possible confounders.
A majority of abused women, when investigating lifetime history of abuse, report current suffering thereof, which warrants considering abuse an important societal problem. Suffering could be a valuable construct, possibly useful to assess psychological health problems normally not captured by existing diagnostic instruments, although further investigations of the concept are needed.