Yes, there is a close link between pain and depression. It’s a vicious cycle — depression can cause pain, but pain can cause depression as well. Once this cycle has started, it’s a snowball effect where your pain makes your depression worse, and your depression makes the pain worse. Many people suffering from depression even report unexplained aches in their back or
Chronic pain can affect mood over time and tends to wear a person down. It also creates other problems that only contribute to depression, such as difficulty sleeping or stress. This chronic pain may also create issues with low self-esteem or may cause social withdrawal or loss of interest in hobbies.
Depression unfortunately, doesn’t just cause pain, it is also linked to other health conditions like
cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is pain that lasts beyond the usual time it takes for an injury to heal. Chronic pain may also be described as, pain that lasts for longer than three months at a time. Some research indicates that up to half the people suffering from chronic pain also struggle from a depressive or anxiety disorder.
Chronic pain is an emotional condition just as much as it is a physical one. Chronic pain may cause a person to grow isolated from others, or lose the mobility they used to have. Chronic pain can also stem from other conditions like arthritis, migraines, heart disease, or diabetes.Because of the many similarities, it can sometimes be difficult to assess whether a person’s chronic pain triggered their depression, or whether it is the other way around. Someone suffering from chronic pain is three times more likely to develop depression and someone suffering from depression is three times as likely to develop chronic pain. Depression can only further debilitate a person suffering from chronic pain.
Unfortunately, these people are less likely to recognize that they are suffering from depression and thus, less likely to seek treatment. As much as half of the people suffering from depression are diagnosed by their healthcare professionals after only describing physical symptoms. Because pain and depression are so closely linked and difficult to distinguish, it is important to understand both depression and pain and how to treat both. A person may be suffering from a combination of depression and chronic pain if they exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:
● Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
● Depressed mood
● Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping too much or too little)
● Changes in appetite (weight gain or weight loss)
● Feelings of guilt and hopelessness
● Fatigue or loss of energy
● Difficulty concentrating
● Suicidal thoughts
What treatment options are available for depression and pain?
Fortunately, there are a multitude of treatment options that can provide relief from the symptoms of both chronic pain and depression. These include, but are not limited to:
● Ketamine Infusion — An innovative new treatment option, research has shown that IV
Ketamine Infusion can help up to 80% of patients find relief from depression symptoms
● Medication — Analgesics or antidepressant medications may be prescribed, but these
treatments will not work for everyone and may take months at a time before relief is felt.
● Therapy — Psychotherapy or talk therapy can help a person identify harmful thinking
patterns and replace them with more positive ones
● Stress-Reduction Skills — Exercise, meditation, and muscle relaxation are useful in
combating not just pain but also the symptoms of depression.
● Support Group — Consider seeking out a support group made up of others suffering
from depression and chronic pain. These are filled with people suffering from the same
thing as you who may have helpful solutions.
If you think you are experiencing depression and chronic pain, it is important to speak to your
primary healthcare provider for treatment. Seeking out treatment is not a sign of weakness, and untreated depression or chronic pain will only get worse with time.
An innovative new treatment option, Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic that has been found to provide rapid relief from depression and anxiety when infused at a low dose. The FDA
has recently approved Esketamine, a nasal spray comprised of a compound based on Ketamine, for the treatment of depression and other mood disorders. Research indicates that
Ketamine stimulates the regrowth of synapses within the brain, essentially rewiring the parts of the brain that may be causing distress. Ketamine is also available as an infusion. Some
researchers maintain a 75% success rate when treating those suffering from depression or anxiety with Ketamine Infusions.