Pain and Depression

There are many links between pain and depression, according to medical research. Sometimes the pain is the cause of the depression, and in other cases the depression can cause actual physical pains and aches in someone suffering from this mental illness.


Research is showing that pain and depression are in fact closely related. In fact, being mentally depressed can cause physical pain. Those with injuries that cause prolonged pain or illness are also sometimes in danger of becoming mentally depressed. Because being depressed can cause pain, this is a very vicious cycle for those having to cope with pain and depression a the same time.

The Link Between Pain and Depression:

When a person gets injured or severely ill, these issues can take a great toll on the body. Because the brain is the centralized location for dealing with these injured nerves, the pain starts to also take a toll on the body. The pain can wear you down over time especially if it inhibits your abilities to participate in certain activities, work, sleep well or even live a normal life. The depression often results when the individual becomes sleep deprived or without the ability to have fun like they used to. Pain causing a person to not be able to enjoy their life is a direct road to becoming depressed. Unfortunately depression can also cause pain and a failure to heal. The mind if often quoted as the body's most powerful tool especially when it comes to healing. Research shows that patients in hospitals or psychical therapy centers are often the quickest to recovery from their injury or illness when they have a good attitude about it. Chronic pain, illness and other injuries can also lead to financial issues because of medical expenses that must be paid for these issues. These financial struggles that some face also have troubles in dealing with depression, essentially because the financial woes add insult to injury with the connection between pain and depression.

The Link Between Depression and Pain:

In the reverse situation, many of those who experience the mental illness of depression are also likely to see pain and aches develop around the body as a result. These physical symptoms of depression include headaches, nausea, cold sweats, trouble sleeping, weight gain (which can have it's own set of psychical problems) as well as other typical aches like back aches, neck soreness, etc. Often times unexplained physical pains like these are the first, biggest noticeable symptoms of depression

Treatment for Pain and Depression:

To help ease the symptoms both mentally and physically of depression, there are a few methods of treatment that are considered effective. First, it is important to medically and physically treat both of these issues. Taking care of the physical injuries and illnesses that might be causing the depression can be the toughest part especially if the medication or physical therapy treatments are not seeming to be very effective. However, that is why it is so important to take the medication as prescribed and to go to physical therapy appointments religiously. This is also a good time to talk to your doctor about medical treatments for depression. If you are interested in taking a prescription or over-the-counter antidepressant for your depression, make sure the depression medication interacts okay with your medication you might be taking for an injury or illness. 

There are also other medical ways to treat pain and depression including therapy with a trained counselor or psychologist that is trained in dealing with depression, or with injured/sick people dealing with depression as a result of their illness or injury. Dealing with the emotional side of the problem is a great way to help strengthen your mind to heal the physically broken part of you. There are also treatments you can do on your own to help deal with depression and pain including stress-reduction techniques like meditation, staying active, keeping a journal and eating a healthy, balanced diet. 

It is important to get help as soon as you realize you are becoming depressed. Living with pain and depression is no way to live, and there are plenty of resources out there to help you combat both of these very serious issues. 

Sources: mayoclinic.com. webmd.com


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