It might come as a surprise to you to find out that emotional and mental difficulties can have physical manifestations and that physical distress can cause mental problems. In other words, depression can cause pain and pain can cause depression. And in the following paragraphs we are going to dissect this relationship.
Our goal in will be to find out how is pain causing depression, why and what can you do about it.
Researchers still don`t exactly know how chronic pain and depression are linked but there is a lot of data showing that they are indeed connected and often occur together; in fact, as much as 50% of all chronic pain sufferers are also suffering from depression, according to Robert D. Kerns.
So why is that? Well, it is important to note that depression doesn’t just appear suddenly, out of thin air. It creeps us gradually, and usually begins with something small, often insignificant such as a decline in mood.
This decline can, over time, intensify and people can lose motivation and interest in activities which they enjoyed previously. They can also become easily irritated, less patient and unable to deal with stress they experience on a daily basis.
Other common symptoms are:
- Weight loss or gain
- Sleeping problems
- Decreased sex drive
- General feeling of worthlessness which can escalate to thoughts of suicide and death
As you can see, these patients are in a very delicate condition and, if you find yourself dealing with depressed people you must be patient and try to be sympathetic. These individuals will often complain about pain in various other body regions – head, stomach and chest; and instead of arguing with them, try to find a way to help them or at least listen to what they have to say.
Dealing With It
As I`ve said before, this is a very serious condition and you need to treat it as such. You can`t expect to just go online, find an article or two, read them, make yourself an expert and treat yourself. I always tell people that our online articles are here to guide you into the right direction, since there is only so much we can do for you via the Internet. You must work with your doctor(s) closely and invest an incredible amount of effort and time in order to heal yourself.
So, the best treatment is a holistic approach, in other words trying to address both mental and physical aspect of the disease. In some cases, though, treating depression will take care of some of the physical problems, but you must never assume it will. You must address both physical and mental aspects of the patient`s condition and tailor the therapy accordingly.
Treatment for these patients usually starts with psychotherapy. Getting good psychological counseling is an invaluable part of the treatment since the patient will require understanding from someone they think knows what they are going through.
The next step is medication. Depending on the condition patient is in, the doctor will describe them with certain antidepressant medication to help regulate chemical processes in the brain.
Also, it would be a good idea to devise a pain rehabilitation (exercising) program along with some common techniques of dealing with stress – yoga, meditation etc.
One last thing. If you are suffering from depression, or recognizing any of the symptoms we`ve listed above, my warm recommendation is watching a video from Elliott Hulse, where he talks about dealing with this condition. You can watch the video down below, you won`t regret it: