On the basis of the observations that chronic nonspecific diarrhea is a
precursor of irritable colon syndrome and that chronic nonspecific diarrhea
is associated with attention deficit disorder in childhood, the authors
conducted a psychiatric diagnostic evaluation of 22 adults with irritable
colon syndrome. Six (27%) of the patients received a diagnosis of attention
deficit disorder, residual type, six (27%) were diagnosed as having
dysthymic disorder, and five (23%) had had episodes of unipolar depression.
The relationship between the presence of these disorders and greater
severity of irritable colon syndrome was statistically significant.