Fibro is not the same as Major Depressive Disorder
A recent article says that Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Fibromyalgia Syndrome (Fibro) do not have the same underlying causes and are not subsets of the same disease concept, despite similarities between their characteristics and treatments. 
The article, which was e-published ahead of print in the journal Current medical research and opinion, reviewed research on the prevalence, etiology and pathogenesis, clinical characterization, and treatment of Fibro and MDD, as well as studies that examined the relationship between these disorders. The studies reviewed were identified via the PubMed literature search.
In discussing the objective of the review, the researchers said that:
"A large body of evidence suggests that the relationship between major depressive disorder (MDD) and [Fibro] is complex. Improved understanding of this relationship promises to provide clinicians with better assessment and treatment options for both disorders."
They found that there were substantial similarities between Fibro and MDD when considering neuroendocrine abnormalities, psychological characteristics, physical symptoms and treatments. However, they also found that "currently available findings do not support the assumption that MDD and FM refer to the same underlying construct or can be seen as subsidiaries of one disease concept."
The article concludes that new approaches may lead to a better understanding of the link betweem Fibro and MDD and also to more effective psychological and psychopharmacological therapies for Fibro. Medications that are also used as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications are already widely used as treatments for Fibro.
The researchers suggested that "clinicians should carefully screen for a history of MDD in patients with Fibro".
- Pae CU, Luyten P, Marks DM, Han C, Park SH, Patkar AA, Masand PS, Van Houdenhove B. The relationship between fibromyalgia and major depressive disorder: a comprehensive review. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 Jul 4. [Epub ahead of print]