Physical Pain and Depression: Are They Related?

depression in old age

Physical pain and depression is interconnected with the aging process. Suffering from chronic pain for a long time can cause onset of depression. It is the same the other way round too. There are people who suffer from physical pain and discomfort due to unknown reasons. It may be so that there is nothing wrong with them physically but they experience pain in certain body parts very often. This gradually turns chronic. Being depressed can inflict or act as catalyst to chronic pain.

Pain that immobilizes you can cause mood swings, lower confidence level, affect your sleep and make you restless. Pain due to injury is not the reason of depression. Pain because of a health condition causes depression from it.

How pain and depression are co-related?

  • Incomplete Sleep
    Improper and incomplete sleep can affect your well being; both physically and mentally. When the mind is disturbed, it becomes difficult to fall asleep because of stress and exhaustion. As a result, you wake up feeling exhausted the next day. This later on affects your daily performance at work and your own health.
  • Eating Disorders and Weight Loss
    Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are mostly because of depression and other psychological conditions like anxiety or rage. Some people have the tendency to stop eating or eat less when they are angry or too depressed which eventually affects their health and causes digestive disorders and other health issues. On the other hand, anger or depression is also the reason for binge eating. Some people eat a lot to divert their mind from the actual reason for distress. Both are not beneficial for health and later on cause one or the other health problems.
  • Weakness and Fatigue
    Feeling weak, stressed, sleepy and de-energized even after taking rest everyday may be a hint that the mind is stressed and in a state of depression. Pain and depression are liable to make conditions worse than before. If you are suffering from pain because of which you remain depressed, it may take more time for the pain to subside.
  • Muscle and Joint Pains
    Chronic pain in muscles and joints make you feel depressed and frustrated. Leaving chronic conditions untreated can be the reason for depression slowly setting in. It is very important to manage pain before it has progressed to the stage when it becomes untreatable.
  • Pain in the Chest
    Frequent pain in the chest and abdominal region may indicate lung, heart or stomach problems. Pain and depression increases risk of heart diseases and it has been found that those who remain depressed at a higher risk of getting a heart attack.

 

What can you do to keep away pain and depression?

It has been observed that exercising on a regular basis helps to keep both mind and body active and healthy. Exercising regularly helps to maintain proper blood flow to the brain which results in release of hormones in proper amounts and improving state of mind and diverting the mind from pain and depression.

Even though physical pain it is still helpful in easing out the pain. Exercise also helps to remain active and avoid rapid setting in of fatigue. It also helps to sleep better and without disturbance.

For quicker results it is advisable to take treatment for both pain and depression at the same time. It is more effective when pain and depression are treated simultaneously.

If you are under medications for a long time for any physical disorders, you may try taking physiotherapy and counseling at the same time to treat pain and depression. Talk to rehabilitation specialists to get the best treatment and help you come out of the situation as soon as possible.

For further details, visit us at TriBeCa Care Physical and Mental Rehabilitation

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Reference:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/pain-and-depression/faq-20057823

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain

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