Chronic Pain Depression


Chronic pain and depression is a perverse combination of physical and mental conditions. As tiresome and annoying as chronic, non-stop pain can be, when it is coupled with a serious, potentially debilitating mental health disorder like depression, the pain can become unbearable.

Essentially, chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than it should. It can stem from an injury or an accident, and it persists rather than heals. As the chronic pain continues to linger and at times worsen, the neurochemical alternations in one’s body increase the sensitivity to that pain. That’s when the problem begins to take a turn for the worse and can trigger depression.

Some of the more well-known side-effects experienced by people who suffer from chronic pain are trouble sleeping, dietary changes and increased feelings of helplessness. According to the American Pain Foundation, approximately 32 million U.S. citizens report that they have had pain that has lasted for over a year. Furthermore, as many 65 percent of depressed people also complain about accompanying pain. And, studies have shown that people whose pains do not subside are generally more inclined to become depressed. As you can imagine, chronic pain and depression combine in a vicious cycle.

Some of the more well-known, undesired results of having the unfortunate combination of chronic pain and depression are:

    Altered mood
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Confused thinking
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Family stress
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Physical deconditioning
  • Reduced sexual activities
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Social isolation
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Work issues

As with any other condition though, while no cure may exist, treatment options are available. Anyone who is struggling with chronic pain and depression should contact their local physician immediately, and seek out advice on what the best course of action for them is.


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