How Chronic Pain can Lead to Depression

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Depression doesn’t just affect your behavior and your brain, it has an affect on your entire body.

Depression has links to many health issues up to and including chronic pain. When some is dealing with more than one medical issue at a time on a constant basis, it can be a difficult thing and receiving the proper treatment is crucial.

Defining Depression

Major depressive disorder is better known as depression and it is a mental illness that can be quite serious.

Depression can interfere with your daily routine and can have a severely detrimental impact on your quality of life.  In the US, more than 6.7% of adults deal with depression on a daily basis.

Recognizing Depression

Some of the signs and symptoms of depression are as follows. You may exhibit many of the signs and symptoms, all of them or even just one or two. The important thing is that you see or speak to a professional about depression.

  • Ongoing feelings of sadness
  • Ongoing feeling of anxiety
  • Ongoing feelings of emptiness
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling guilty
  • Feeling worthless
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling irritable
  • Feeling restless
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that you once enjoyed including sex
  • Feeling that you are continuously tired
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering details
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Insomnia
  • Sleeping around the clock
  • Overeating
  • No appetite
  • Thoughts of death
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Attempts of suicide
  • Pains, aches, cramps, headaches and/or digestive issues that do not ease with treatment

How Chronic Pain can Lead to Depression

Defining Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be described as a pain that lasts for weeks to years. Often, this type of pain does not ease very much if at all with treatment.

There can be distinct causes for chronic pain such as a long-term disease or an injury or infection.

Sometimes though, there seems to be no reason for chronic pain. As with depression, chronic pain can and frequently does cause issues with daily activities and sleep therefore having a negative affect on your quality of life.

Linking Chronic Pain and Depression

Although there have been no scientific evidence that points to how exactly these two conditions are linked, the illnesses due have a tendency to occur in conjunction with one another.

Chronic pain can actually worsen the symptoms of depression and is a great risk factor for suicidal thoughts and tendencies in people who suffer from depression. Common symptoms of depression are bodily aches and pains.

There have been studies done that actually show that people suffering from intense depression feel pain that is more intense, indicating that the levels of chronic pain and chronic depression are linked, There has also been more recent research showing that people who suffer from depression have high levels of a specific type of proteins called cytokines.

These proteins send messages to cells that essentially affect the way that the immune system responds to things like diseases and infections.

These effects include how long the response is as well as the strength of the response.  Because of this, cytokines can actually trigger pain simply by promoting inflammation, the response of the body to injury or infection.

Inflammation assists in the protection of the body by removing, destroying or even isolating the injured or infected area. In addition to pain, inflammations signs can include redness, swelling, heat and even at times a loss of function.

There have been many studies that show that inflammation might be a link between depression and depression related illnesses.

How Chronic Pain can Lead to Depression

With more research, scientists and doctors will be able to get a better understanding of the connection and will then be able to find alternate, better ways to both diagnose and treat depression and many other illnesses.

One disorder that frequently occurs with depression is fibromyalgia. This condition causes both chronic and widespread pain in the muscles, fatigue and multiple points on the body that are tender or hurt in response to the lightest bit of pressure.

People suffering from fibromyalgia are more likely to suffer from depression as well as other mental conditions than the entire rest of the population.

In short, chronic pain is difficult to deal with and often people become depressed at the thought of being in pain for an uncertain amount of time. Actually, it is a logical response.

If you have either chronic pain or depression or even a combination of the two then you need to see a medical professional and get help with the issue(s).

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