How Chronic Pain Affects Your Mental Health

How Chronic Pain Affects Your Mental Health

Throughout the general population and in other climes, chronic pain and mental health issues have been linked. An overlap exists between these two, as people experiencing chronic bodily pain may also go through certain mental health issues at the same time.

The question then is, do they occur concurrently, or does the presence of one lead to another. Of course, we’ve had people who had to deal with certain mental health issues without necessarily having a history of physical ailment or impairment that led to pain.

However, some mental health conditions feed on chronic pain. In situations where one person is diagnosed with the two, they usually have to be treated together for the best recovery. Call 619-333-8114 now.

Some of the most common mental health elements of chronic pain include depression, insomnia, and anxiety. However, it’s important to point out that a number of these mental health issues have a high chance of deteriorating the symptoms of chronic pain.

Relationship between chronic pain and mental health conditions

According to Mental Health America, chronic pain is usually associated with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, etc. To further understand the complex relationship between chronic pain and mental health, it is important to examine the role that chronic pain plays in certain mental health disorders.

Same processing neural pathways

Mental health conditions like grief, depression, and anxiety take the same neural pathways that chronic pain also takes to process signals. So, the brain can conjoin the different experiences as one.

Similar social and behavioral effects

A patient that’s affected by chronic pain will typically exude some behavioral patterns that flow into mental health conditions. For instance, long-term pain may cause isolation from people, which with time, may evolve into issues like anxiety and depression.

Psychological effects caused by painkillers

Constant use of painkillers like opioids will interfere with the cognitive process and have psychological effects on the user. This may eventually heighten the chances of developing mental health conditions like depression.

How to manage chronic pain and mental health issues

20 percent of adults in the United States suffer from mental health issues at some point in their lives. However, many people find it difficult to share their feelings with others and they never seek professional help. Your case doesn’t have to be like that. Here are some ways to manage chronic pain and mental health issues.

Consult a pain management specialist

Find a certified pain management specialist around you and talk about your condition. A pain management specialist has the required expertise to treat the different aspects of the condition.  Instead of a regular physician, pain management will understand the psychological elements and counsel you accordingly.


Tricyclic antidepressants and related medications can help patients deal with chronic pain and mental health issues such as depression. Antidepressants help to increase the levels of some neurotransmitters such as serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain. These neurotransmitters help to improve mood and also inhibit pain transmitted by nerves. However, like many other drugs, antidepressants should be prescribed to you by a medical expert.

Pain Relief sign

Lifestyle changes

Introducing exercises and mind-body activities can benefit chronic pain and mental health conditions. They help produce endorphins which are the natural mood lifters that can improve the mental state and maintain control of the body.

Do you need pain management doctors in San Diego? Visit the Pacific Medical Care in San Diego today.

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