Affective disorders and endocrine disease. New insights from psychosomatic studies

Psychosomatics. 1994 Jul-Aug;35(4):341-53. doi: 10.1016/S0033-3182(94)71755-2.


This is a review of psychosomatic interactions between affective disorders (depressive and anxiety disturbances, irritable mood) and endocrine disease. Particular reference is made to stressful life events in the pathogenesis of endocrine disease, psychopathology of hormonal disturbances, and pathophysiology of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in depression and Cushing's disease. These psychosomatic interactions may lead to appraisal of common etiological mechanisms in endocrine and psychiatric disorders, of the value of retaining the category of organic affective syndromes in psychiatric classification, and of the need for research on quality-of-life measures in endocrine disease. The establishment of "psychoendocrine units," where both endocrinologists and psychiatrists should work, is advocated. Such psychoendocrine units may serve and benefit clinical populations who currently defy traditional medical subdivisions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / blood
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / blood
  • Cushing Syndrome / complications
  • Cushing Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Dexamethasone
  • Endocrine System Diseases / etiology*
  • Endocrine System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Hostility
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology
  • Life Change Events
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mood Disorders / physiopathology
  • Mood Disorders / psychology*
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiopathology
  • Prolactin / metabolism
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology


  • Dexamethasone
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Prolactin
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone