Introduction: Chronic pain is a common condition with high socioeconomic and public health burden. A wide range of psychiatric conditions are often comorbid with chronic pain and chronic pain conditions, negatively impacting successful treatment of either condition. The psychiatric condition receiving most attention in the past with regard to chronic pain comorbidity has been major depressive disorder, despite the fact that many other psychiatric conditions also demonstrate epidemiological and genetic overlap with chronic pain. Further understanding potential mechanisms involved in psychiatric and chronic pain comorbidity could lead to new treatment strategies both for each type of disorder in isolation and in scenarios of comorbidity. Methods: This article provides an overview of relationships between DSM-5 psychiatric diagnoses and chronic pain, with particular focus on PTSD, ADHD, and BPD, disorders which are less commonly studied in conjunction with chronic pain. We also discuss potential mechanisms that may drive comorbidity, and present new findings on the genetic overlap of chronic pain and ADHD, and chronic pain and BPD using linkage disequilibrium score regression analyses. Results: Almost all psychiatric conditions listed in the DSM-5 are associated with increased rates of chronic pain. ADHD and BPD are significantly genetically correlated with chronic pain. Psychiatric conditions aside from major depression are often under-researched with respect to their relationship with chronic pain. Conclusion: Further understanding relationships between psychiatric conditions other than major depression (such as ADHD, BPD, and PTSD as exemplified here) and chronic pain can positively impact understanding of these disorders, and treatment of both psychiatric conditions and chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-43
Number of pages20
JournalComplex Psychiatry
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2023


  • Chronic pain
  • Comorbidity
  • Genetic correlation
  • Psychiatric conditions


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