Because depression is a treatable disorder, the practitioner should assess all chronic pain patients for this illness. While some patients may admit feelings of sadness, many patients deny or minimize the likelihood of being depressed. Thus, the practitioner should also screen the patient for symptoms characteristically found in depression, including anhedonia, fatigue, insomnia, appetite changes, and suicidal ideation. If a patient does admit to suicidal thoughts and impulses, the practitioner should contact psychiatric services and consider hospitalization to protect the patient.
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