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News number: 8808180602

11:48 | 2009-11-09

Science

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Depressed Individuals Exaggerate Physical Symptoms

TEHRAN (FNA)- Depressed individuals tend to over report their physical symptoms particularly the pain that they actually experience, a new study found.



Previous studies had reported that neuroticism - a condition characterized by irritability, sadness, anxiety and fear - accounts for the exaggerated reporting of physical symptoms in affected individuals.

A new study, however, pronounces the influence of depression in causing over reporting.

"For 30 years, the hypothesis has been that neuroticism is behind inflated reports of symptoms," said lead researcher Jerry Suls, adding that depression appears to be the big player, press tv reported.

According to the study published in Psychosomatic Medicine, depressed women overstate the frequency of their symptoms such as aches and pains, gastrointestinal problems and upper-respiratory issues, which they had experienced before.

Individuals suffering from high neuroticism and mild depression, conversely, are reported not to have any problem remembering their symptoms.

University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences researchers concluded depressed individuals commonly mis-remember their physical symptoms and subsequently exaggerate their experience.

They therefore urged depressed patients to write down their symptoms as they are happening in order to help overcome the over-remembering of these experiences and provide physicians with more accurate information.