Are you one of the 50% of chronic pain patients who also suffer with depression?
How to help alter the depression chronic pain cycle is a question that warrants further attention from the medical and chronic illness community. On top of having to deal with Fibromyalgia, RA, CFS (or any of the myriad of conditions that cause chronic pain), patients are also plagued with a host of co-morbidities. One of the most prevalent among these is depression.
Among those patients diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, 50% will develop significant depression. Unfortunately, the chemical reactions that accompany depression can contribute to an increase in the pain response, thus creating a ‘vicious cycle’ effect of: pain + depression = more pain and a more depressive state which = more pain, ect.Among patients diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, 50% will develop significant depression. Click To Tweet
The complexities of mental health, especially pertaining to the subject of depression, is a topic far beyond the scope of my understanding. This article is in no way an in-depth, or authoritative, study on this problem. I am simply scratching around the surface looking at bits and pieces to offer as food for thought.*
*ALWAYS CONSULT and SEEK PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. Especially within the realm of mental health. The mind is a tricky thing, and I want the best possible solutions both for you and myself. Please seek help IMMEDIATELY if you have thoughts or intent to harm yourself in any way:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ~ Call 1-800-273-8255
That being said, what are some effective ways we can help to combat depression while dealing with chronic pain? Below are suggestions that I have used at times when chronic pain gets me down. Again, this is hardly a comprehensive list of how to deal with depression and FMS, these are merely tools I have personally used at times that have helped me.
How do you combat depression related to your chronic pain? Please share your experiences in the comment section below!
How To Help Alter The Depression Chronic Pain Cycle
Stop feeling guilty ~ There is so much guilt associated with not being able to function in life and relationships as we were able to pre-FMS. Try and find contentment in doing ‘the best you can within your limitations’. Prioritize relationships in the sense of saving ‘your best’ for those closest to you (spouse/children), and giving what’s left (if there is anything) to those who are lower on the list.
Maintain your passions ~When we are depressed, the first things to go out the door are the things we love to do the most. Try to keep those a part of your life if you can. My passions in creating/baking/writing often keep me distracted from my pain, and improve my mental state of ‘being’.
Believe in your ‘worth’ ~ You may not ‘feel’ it, or may have been told the opposite, but you have immense value and worth! If you are stuck with a medical provider (physical or mental) who makes you feel; uncomfortable, demeaned, not heard, hysterical, or invalidated…Find someone who will give to you the attention and care you deserve! Remember, you are paying for their services, not visa versa.
Suggetions to help alter the 'depression' / 'chronic pain' cycle... Click To Tweet
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