It’s not a simple relationship. The connection between chronic pain and depression is multi faceted. For some, dealing with the unrelenting pain experienced in; Fibromyalgia, M.E., Lyme Disease, as well as a host of other invisible chronic illnesses, can bring about the eventuality of a depressed state of mind. To be forced to live in a body that has seemingly betrayed you, and robbed you of the ‘normal’ life you once lived, takes it’s toll. And yet, there is something else going on as well.
There are chemicals in the body called ‘neurotransmitters’. There are two that regulate and influence both pain and mood. These transmitters are called serotonin and norepinephrine. When these chemicals are in balance they cause a correct response within the body to the outside world. When the nervous system is stressed for long periods of time, as in the case with fibromyalgia, these neurotransmitters become dysfunctional. A dysfunctional system creates an ideal environment for depression and pain.
I have previously mentioned the alarming statistic that 50% of people with Fibromyalgia at least consider suicide at some point. This doesn’t account for those who have FMS but have not been properly diagnosed, or all the other chronic illnesses combined. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1 (800) 273-8255
So the question begs, how to heal a dysfunctional neurotransmitter system? Anti-depressants help to inhibit the reuptake (how long it takes the body to reabsorb the chemicals after they have performed their function) of serotonin and norepinephrine. I have personally known people who have been benefited greatly by anti-depressants. While not a long term solution, and definitely not for everyone, there are instances where this can help someone through to the other side. Stress reduction (yoga, calming activities, peaceful environments), healthy eating (limited sugar intake, elimination of processed foods), and other forms of self care all contribute in reducing harmful effects to the body.
The night always seems darkest just before the morning. The thought of taking one more step through the pain and despair can at times seem pointless. But as long as we are alive, as long as we continue to fight, hope will be waiting for us in the dawning of a new day.
#2 of 3 Recipes featuring Aunt Becky’s Special Jams, Fruit Butters & Sauces~
~Dublinar Grilled Cheese on Cranberry Walnut Bread w/Aunt Becky’s Cherry Pie Plum Fruit Spread~
~cranberry/walnut bread (Costco), or any bread of preference
~Kerry Gold butter (Costco)
~Dublinar cheese (Costco)
Melt 1 tbsp. butter in pan and place 2 slices of bread to cook till browned. Remove from heat and place cheese on grilled side of one slice, and spread cherry filling on the grilled side of the other slice. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in pan and place slices un-grilled side down in pan. Cook until browned and combine to make sandwich.