Many people with chronic pain frequently become depressed due to living with under treated or mistreated pain symptoms. When a person’s thinking and emotions become problematic they become irrational or dysfunctional and mismanage their feelings. As a result, they have urges to indulge in self-defeating, impulsive or compulsive behaviors to cope with their depression, which affects all their relationships.
Feeling Down versus Being Depressed
A period of depressed mood that lasts for several days or a few weeks is often just a normal part of life and is not always a cause for concern. Although these feelings are often referred to as depression, they typically do not constitute clinical depression because the symptoms are relatively mild and only last for a short period of time. Moreover, milder periods of depression are often related to specific stressful life events and improvement frequently coincides with the reduction or elimination of the stressor.
If people are experiencing a clinical depression, however, there would be substantial changes in their mood, thinking, behaviors, activities and self-perceptions. If they are depressed they often have difficulty making decisions. Even the day-to-day tasks of paying bills, attending classes, reading assignments, and returning phone calls may seem overwhelming.
They may also dwell on negative thoughts, focus on unpleasant experiences, describe themselves as a failure, report that things are hopeless, and believe they are a burden to others. The changes in mood brought on by depression frequently result in feelings of sadness, irritability, anger, emptiness, and/or anxiety and may eventually lead to thoughts of suicide.
There are different types of depression, including Bipolar Disorder, in which depressive episodes alternate with mania (extremely elevated mood, energy, and unusual thought patterns) or hypomania (generally a less destructive state than full mania) episodes which may include feelings of agitation and euphoria. A severe or long-term depressive episode can substantially wear down self-esteem and may result in thoughts of death and even attempts at suicide.
To determine if you are someone you care about may be suffering from depression as a result of living with a chronic pain condition please go to our website to read my article The The Role of Clinical Depression in Pain Management that you can download for free on our Ariticles page. In this article you will see Terence T. Gorski’s Depression Symptom Checklist plus much more useful information that can help someone living with chronic pain and depression.
To learn more about chronic pain management please check out our website at www.addiction-free.com and go to our Publications page and check out my latest book The Addiction-Free Pain Management® Recovery Guide: Second Edition. To look for my upcoming trainings please go to our Calendar page.
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