Multiple sclerosis patients can suffer from a condition defined as ‘chronic sorrow’, which is different to depression, say Swedish researchers.
They defined chronic sorrow as ‘loss of hope, of control over the body, of integrity and of identity’. Of the 61 MS patients they interviewed, 38 had criteria for the condition, but only four had symptoms of mild depression.
‘The sorrow was constantly present or periodically overwhelming,’ the authors said. ‘Knowledge of the meaning of chronic sorrow can contribute to the nurse's ability to give psychological support and promote a sense of hope and control in the MS patient,’ they added.
Journal of Clinical Nursing (2007) 16: 315-324