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Depressive symptoms in schizophrenic patients

DOI: 10.1186/2047-783x-16-12-549

Keywords: Anxiety, depression, locus of control, schizophrenia, stress

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Negative symptoms in schizophrenia, which appear to reflect a diminution of normal functions, such as apathy, lack of emotion, or poor social functioning, are similar to those in depression [1]. It is commonly held that depressive symptoms are frequent among schizophrenics, with the broad frequency oscillating between 10-75% [2-4]. Such symptoms often are related to suicidal thougghts in schizophrenia [5,6]. So many as 213% of schizophrenics eventually commit suicide and most of them experience depressive symptoms at some point of life, especially the feelings of helplessness and loss [7,8]. Depressive symptoms often contribute to schizophrenia exacerbation [9] and, when present at initial admission to hospital, may augur a quick relapse [10]; all of which makes the recognition and treatment of depression of paramount importance in schizophrenia. The large scatter in the frequency of depression in schizophrenics above outlined seems to have reflected the ambiguity of distinguishing between the negative symptoms of schizophrenia and those of depression. Siris & Bench [4] argued that the ascribing symptoms to one or the other condition should be based on the nature of affective disorder present, with sadness predominating in depression and apathy in schizophrenia. Apart from the subtle difference between these two affective states, this criterion is not universally accepted.From the clinical standpoint it seems worthwhile to establish a psychological profile of the schizophrenic who might be vulnerable to depression during the course of his disease. In the present study, therefore, we seek to determine the association of some psychological indices, such as the locus of control, anxiety, mood, and the strategy of coping with stress, all of which underlie changes in affective state, with the presence of depression in schizophrenic patients. We addressed the issue by comparing the expression of these indices, as assessed by psychometric tools, in depressive and non-depre


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