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The Connection Between Chronic Pain And Depression

Living with chronic pain day after day is a tough situation for the average individual. Just imagine a person suffering from chronic pain and depression at the same time! This type of situation is what creates hell on earth for the affected individual. So how should you deal with chronic pain and depression? This article provides information on the connection between chronic pain and depression.


Have you ever wondered how being anxious or depressed could contribute to aggravating your chronic pain condition? The latest studies show that over 50% of patients struggling with chronic pain also have a mood disorder like depression or anxiety. Simply having a headache or back pain for a day or two can affect the mood of the particular individual. What if the individual has that pain continuously for six months? Imagine what his or her mood would be like? Pain management experts say it's reasonable to expect a mood disorder like anxiety and depression with chronic pain.


Any pain is described as chronic if it lasts longer than three months at a stretch. When pain extends beyond the usual healing time for an injury or illness, it's considered chronic. When any pain becomes chronic, it can be treated as a disease on its own right. Chronic pain costs the US healthcare system a lot - around $600 billion a year - in addition to lost time from work. Chronic pain can lead to depression and anxiety over time. The reverse also could happen where long-term depression and anxiety can lead to chronic pain in the long run. It creates a cycle where one condition could worsen the other.


Chronic pain results in sleep issues, feeling worthless and helpless and aggravates one's financial woes. All these symptoms can lead to anxiety or depression in the long run. Depression can magnify pain while chronic pain can magnify one's mood disorders. It will make everyday living more difficult for the affected individual. Physiotherapy and medical counselling can help relieve the symptoms of chronic pain and depression. When one condition is controlled, the other becomes more tolerable.


When pain becomes chronic, the individual may have high levels of stress hormones, muscle pain, low energy levels, lower than normal physical performance, and mood disorders. It disrupts your sleep and causes you to wake up at night. You will be tired and not that productive during the day as a result. The ongoing pain can make you feel irritable and difficult to deal with others. Your life will become challenging and these feelings will lead to depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts at times.


Some of the symptoms associated with both chronic pain and depression include:


  • Confused thinking

  • Chronic anxiety

  • Anger

  • Altered mood

  • Fear of injury

  • Family stress

  • Decreased self-esteem

  • Irritability

  • Legal issues

  • Weight gain or loss

  • Work and productivity issues

  • Social isolation

  • Sleep issues

  • Loss of sexual interests and activity

  • Physical de-conditioning

MOVE Health and Wellness in Surrey, BC specializes in treating all types of chronic pain and depression conditions.

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