Depression in multiple sclerosis as a function of length and severity of illness, age, remissions, and perceived social support

J Clin Psychol. 1984 Jul;40(4):1028-33. doi: 10.1002/1097-4679(198407)40:4<1028::aid-jclp2270400427>;2-1.


Degree of depression found in 120 spinal multiple sclerosis (MS) outpatients was related significantly to selected illness, demographic, and social variables. The more depressed individuals tended to be more disabled, older, and, in particular, perceived their families and friends as providing less social support than those who were less depressed. Those who had experienced at least one remission were less depressed than those who never had had a remission. Contrary to hypothesized expectations, the results also suggested that the longer a patient has MS, the more depressed he will be. Such results raise implications for psychotherapeutic intervention in this population, as well as suggest the need for future investigations of the MS patient's body image, self-concept, and perception of disability.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology*
  • Sick Role*
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Support*