Identifying the root of your pain isn’t always easy. Sometimes you may think the cause is clear, but other factors, such as your mental health, also contribute to the pain. Today, we’ll explore the connection between mental health and chronic pain so you feel less confused and more hopeful about finding help ASAP.
A Complex Connection
You may assume that your consistent depression is solely the result of stress at work or personal issues. These certainly can be contributing factors, and it’s important to talk about that with experts, but physical pain may also be the culprit. The connection between pain and mental health shouldn’t be too surprising because most people aren’t happy when they’re feeling inflammation or discomfort. Suffice it to say that when you feel consistent chronic pain, there is a good chance that you will feel stressed or upset.
At first, that may not sound like a mental health hindrance, but that pain can take a toll on a patient’s mind. A 2017 review of relevant studies details that 30-45% of patients with chronic pain experience depression. That same review explores how this relationship is complex because chronic pain can damage one’s mental health. Still, mental health can also contribute to feeling pain. The issue doesn’t simply boil down to “chronic pain causes depression.”
Assessing Each Cause
Chronic pain may not always feel like the most horrible pain in the world, but its persistence plays a key role in hindering someone’s daily life. The biggest example of this issue is sleeping habits. Trying to sleep with constantly sore joints is difficult. The lack of sleep can easily take a toll on your mental health. Getting consistent sleep is essential for our minds and bodies to heal, and injuries can ruin that situation.
The role of a patient’s mentality in creating physical pain is also complex. The literature above and similar studies reveal a positive association between greater levels of pain and negative emotions, but some studies also show negative emotions reduce pain sensitivity. Sounds contradictory, right? Don’t worry. Talking with an expert truly becomes invaluable.
Finding Comprehensive Assistance
A professional must assess your connection between chronic pain and mental health to ensure you get the appropriate help you need. The seemingly contradictory results of the studies surrounding pain sensitivity and negative emotions don’t mean that one or both studies did something wrong. Instead, these results highlight the importance of assessing each patient individually because everyone is unique. Integrative medicine specifically puts focus on using a wide range of treatments to help patients.
At Anodyne, we specialize in integrative medicine. This type of medical assistance allows us to sit down with a patient, learn their story, and explore various therapy treatments and lifestyle changes that we can use to help patients find relief. Personalized treatment is easier to find than it may seem. Speaking to an integrative health specialist will help you get one step closer to relief, whether your treatment requires focus on the physical pain, mental health, or a combination of both.