How can I cope with depression related to chronic pain?

Serious work injuries can sometimes result in chronic pain conditions. Along with causing physical limitations, people with chronic pain also experience depression and anxiety. This makes it hard to cope with the situation and may also impact a person’s ability to recover from the event. WebMD explains the link between chronic pain and depression and what you can do to cope.

The first step is to understand the type of response that pain elicits. When a person is in pain it’s common to experience a range of emotions, including frustration, irritability, and anxiety. However, once the pain ceases the person reverts back to their previous state of mind. When pain is ongoing, these feelings manifest into emotional disorders, which are characterized by low self-esteem, problems sleeping, stress within the family, weight gain or loss, anger issues, and problems regulating mood.  

Over time, these issues can lead to even more serious problems. When studying people with chronic pain and depression researchers found that their level of pain actually became intensified, which only exacerbated their symptoms. Interpersonal relationships are also impacted, and when a person is no longer able to retain gainful employment because of past injuries depression is likely to become worse over time.

There are treatments available, many people must treat different facets of their condition using different methods. For example, talk therapy and antidepressants can help with the emotional aspects of chronic pain-related depression. Having some kind of exercise regimen in place is also recommended, as this is suitable for treating both physical and emotional issues related to chronic pain. Physical therapy can also be helpful, especially if the person loses function of the affected body party or finds it difficult to perform daily tasks and chores. 

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