In a recently published paper in General Hospital Psychiatry , we described the association between a diagnosis of a serious mental illness and a chronic pain condition. In a national sample of all patients who utilized services from the Veterans Health Administration within a given year, those individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were significantly more likely to have a chart diagnosis of chronic pain compared to those without these psychiatric diagnoses. We concluded that this line of research has important implications for understanding how chronic pain might impact mental health recovery.
Birgenheir et al found that a chart diagnosis of a chronic pain condition occurred approximately two times as often in veterans with a documented diagnosis of bipolar disorder compared to those without bipolar disorder. These findings are important for addressing the overall health of patients with bipolar disorder . The authors noted that the veteran population was a limitation of their study