Many people undergoing chronic pain management frequently become depressed due to living with under-treated or mistreated pain symptoms. This process starts when thinking and emotions become problematic. By problematic I mean that the thinking process becomes irrational or dysfunctional and they start to mismanage their feelings; they often have urges to indulge in self-defeating impulsive or compulsive behaviors to cope with depression surrounding their chronic pain management. This in turn affects all the relationships in their lives.
There are several types of clinical depression that involve disturbances in mood, concentration, self-confidence, sleep, appetite, activity and behavior as well as disruptions in friendships, family, work and/or school. A clinical depression is different than the experiences of sadness, disappointment and grief that are familiar to everyone. Because of this it can be difficult to determine when professional help is necessary.
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 necessarily a cause for concern. Although these feelings are often referred to as depression, they typically do not constitute a 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 a person is experiencing clinical depression, however, they would be experiencing substantial changes in 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.
If depressed a person may also dwell on negative thoughts, focus on unpleasant experiences, describe themselves as a failure, believe that things are hopeless, and feel as though 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.
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 better understand the importance of addressing depression in chronic pain management please check out my latest article, Depression Management with the Chronic Pain Patient, that you can download for free on our Ariticles page.
You can learn more about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System at our website www.addiction-free.com. If you or a loved one is undergoing chronic pain management, especially if you’re in recovery or believe you may have a medication or other mental health problem and you want to learn more effective chronic pain management tools, please go to our Publications page and check out my books; especially the Addiction-Free Pain Management® Recovery Guide: Managing Pain and Medication in Recovery. To purchase this book please Click Here.
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To listen to a radio interview I did conducted by Mary Woods for her program One Hour at a Time please Click Here to go to this interview.