Due to psychosomatic symptoms of mental illness, chronic pain can be caused by depression. Meaning that because of our depression we can feel like we are in pain all the time. Today I want to talk about how chronic pain (or being in pain for many weeks without a break) can lead to depression.
Imagine if you are in pain more days than not, it would be really hard to sleep, you wouldn’t want to be out with other people, and you may even struggle to concentrate. There can also be legal and financial issues associated with chronic pain as our medical bills pile up and we attempt to get disability. I only mention these issues so that you can grasp just how hard having chronic pain can be, and why it is so closely linked to depression.
I also did a video on chronic illness with Hank Green where he talked about grieving the loss of what his life could have looked like. Click here for more: https://youtu.be/IXbAYg5pp9M
He mentions how important it is that we try and focus on what we can do instead of focusing on the things that we can’t do anymore. Shifting our thoughts to a more positive place is so helpful and I honestly believe can change our overall outlook on life.
There are also treatment options available! Seeing a therapist who can work with you on processing the loss and grief that you may feel as well as helping you focus on what you can do will really help. They also mention how medication not only for your pain but also for your depression (ie. SSRIs, SNRIs, etc) can really help. Lastly, there are treatment centers that work to help us overcome both issues at the same time. The Mayo Clinic has a great one (link below) but if going into a treatment center like that doesn’t work for you, you can also treat each issue separately through pain management and psychotherapy.
The overall message I want you to hear is that help is available and it can get better. Even if the pain we feel doesn’t go away, we can find ways to better manage our emotions around it and heal our relationships with ourselves and others.
I hope you found this helpful! I know this is something many in our community struggle with, and that’s why it’s important to share this video and your experience in the comments so we can learn from each other and feel better.
Sleep video: https://youtu.be/4mqiqp2oKrc
Mayo clinic website: http://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/pain-rehabilitation-center/overview
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