Depression and Other Problems Caused by Chronic Pain
If you are like many others who suffer from persistent pain, you may associate it with suffering from a particular ailment, such as migraines, back pain or arthritis. However, for those who experience pain for months or even longer may be among the millions of other people who have a condition known as chronic pain. Chronic pain is typically defined as any pain that continues for longer than 3-6 months. For many people suffering from constant pain all day, every day, it can cause more than just physical discomfort; it can also lead to mental and emotional suffering. Chronic pain can lead to depression and other problems that can affect your quality of life as well as those around you.
One of the biggest side effects of chronic pain (and one that is easily hidden) is depression and/or anxiety. It is important to understand that you have gone from being a healthy, active person to someone who has had your life drastically changed, so it’s no wonder that depression and anxiety are a major side effect. The pain makes it extremely difficult to want to do the things that you previously enjoyed; even simple household chores can trigger the pain forcing you to avoid these activities. Unfortunately, the enjoyment you once felt is no longer a reality, which then leads to further depression. One of the most important things to do is to talk to your physician about the symptoms of depression, which can help your doctor address and treat both situations. Common symptoms of depression may include:
- Difficulties falling asleep and/or staying asleep
- A sad or anxious mood
- A change in appetite (increase or decrease)
- A lack of motivation and/or energy
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
Other Problems Caused by Chronic Pain
Having an active, happy and comfortable life that is suddenly interrupted as a result of pain can have a devastating effect on your lifestyle as well as:
- Finances. Between the traveling to and from appointments, medications, treatments and the inability to work because of the pain can have a significant impact on your finances. Unfortunately, worrying about money may only add to the stress, which makes things worse. Seeking help as soon as possible may help to lessen your financial burdens.
- Physical appearance. The medications, fatigue and worrying can put a great deal of stress on your skin and hair. If you are experiencing hair loss, breakouts and other problems with your skin and hair, it is essential that you talk with your physician as soon as possible about how to address the situation.
Chronic pain is a complex condition that not only impacts the person experiencing it but those around them as well. Depression resulting from pain can have a significant effect on the frequency and intensity of your pain symptoms as well as your healing process. Depression and other emotional reactions to chronic pain are to be expected and it is understandable, but there are various approaches that can help you learn to manage them more efficiently. Talking to your physician about feelings of depression, stress and anxiety will help your doctor to be better informed about your situation as well as help to better provide you with the appropriate care.
If you are experiencing chronic pain and the symptoms of depression that accompany your pain, contact Capital City Neurosurgery to discuss a suitable treatment as soon as possible.