The connection between chronic pain and depression runs deep. There are many different ways that these two chronic illnesses overlap. Here are 26 things you need to know about chronic pain and depression.
Chronic pain and depression – 26 facts
1. Chronic pain and depression are invisible illnesses
The simple fact that chronic pain and depression don’t have visible symptoms make these two conditions difficult to treat on their own, much less together.
2. Chronic pain and depression are linked with other mood disorders
Chronic pain sufferers are much more likely to suffer from other mood disorders like anxiety than those who don’t suffer from chronic pain.
3. Pain diary apps can help with depression
Monitoring pain levels can help manage depression levels, too. Keeping track of food, sleep, and exercise with a pain diary app can help pain patient see how these things relate to the level of both chronic pain and any depression symptoms.
4. Exercise helps both chronic pain and depression
Getting outside in nature is a great way to boost mood and keep the physical body healthy.
5. Chronic pain patients have a higher risk of both attempted and completed suicide
September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day, a day to raise awareness and prevention strategies for suicide. Chronic pain patients are at much higher risk for suicide attempts and completion. It’s important to recognize the signs.
6. Anti-depressants are commonly used to treat chronic pain
It is unclear how they work, but anti-depressants are commonly used as a method to treat chronic pain. Many patients experience an improved mood and a decrease in pain after just a few weeks.
7. Meditation can be used to treat chronic pain and depression
Meditation is commonly suggested to reduce the perception of pain, but it can also be successful in treating depression.
8. Chronic pain and depression both cause changes in the brain
Barring a physical cause of chronic pain, much of chronic pain is due to patterns and grooves worn into the brain. This can also be the case for depression.
9. Depression causes chronic pain and vice versa