Archive for November, 2014

Chronic Pain and Depression

November 21, 2014

The physical aspect of your chronic pain is hard to miss, but the emotional hurt that chronic pain can inflict might not be so obvious. It is no surprise that chronic pain can cause you to become depressed. You are physically uncomfortable, and you probably had to alter your lifestyle (including activities, workload, even personal relationships) to compensate.

Naturally, some days will be better than others, but you can keep depression from getting to you. First, acknowledge, rather than deny, any feelings of anger and grief that you have about changes in your body and life. Then make a plan to take control of your life again and forge ahead.

Things you can do to improve your mood:

Stay busy and active. Make a realistic list of what you want to accomplish each day.

Exercise. Choose activities you enjoy, and talk to your doctor about what type of exercise is safe and appropriate for you.

Do not isolate yourself. Make an effort to be among others who listen, lend support and help you have fun.

Take steps to minimize stress. There are relaxation techniques that can help.

Go easy on yourself. Don’t get frustrated if you cannot do something. Focus on what you can do and make time for things you enjoy.

Get help. If you think you have symptoms of depression and nothing you try seems to help you feel better, talk to a professional counselor. There are therapists who work specifically with people in chronic pain.

There are support groups for people with chronic pain and particular chronic illnesses. Talking with other people who are going through the same thing as you helps you realize you are not alone, which can help you feel better.