Sometimes people living with chronic pain drop into a deep dark trance, especially if they don’t receive appropriate help early on. Pain, especially chronic pain, is an emotional condition as well as a physical sensation. It is a complex experience that affects thought, mood, and behavior and can lead to isolation, immobility, and sometimes drug dependence or addiction. A quick response is necessary to lessen the risk of these horrible consequences.
Reveille — it’s time to wake up!
I remember my days in the U.S. Marine Corps when every morning we were woke up with a bugle playing Reveille; which comes from the French for “wake up.” If only waking up from the chronic pain trance was as simple as responding to a bugle call.
In some ways the chronic pain trance resembles depression, and the relationship between the two is very intimate. Pain is depressing, and depression can cause and even intensify pain. People living with chronic pain have three times the average risk of developing coexisting psychological disorders—usually mood or anxiety disorders—and depressed people have three times the average risk of developing chronic pain.
Clinical Depression is the number one psychological (mood) disorder that causes the biggest problems for the most people living with chronic pain—and it often gets under-diagnosed and/or under-treated. A variety of recent medical studies have drawn a strong association between chronic pain and a diagnosis of major depression. The two conditions seem to go hand-in-hand in a large percentage of unfortunate patients who suffer the debilitating effects of both chronically painful conditions and persistent mood problems.
Researchers still cannot determine whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship between chronic pain and depression, and if there is, which condition causes the other. Some research suggests that insufficiently treated, ongoing pain may cause changes in the chemical environment of the brain, thereby increasing the likelihood of depression. Similarly, other research suggests that insufficiently treated, ongoing depression causes changes in the chemical environment of the brain such that it increases an individual’s perception of painful sensations. Regardless of the etiology, concurrent treatment is necessary for successful treatment outcomes.
To learn more about the role of depression in chronic pain management check out my article Depression Management with the Chronic Pain Patient that you can download for free on our Article page.
If you’d like to receive training for helping people with chronic pain and coexisting disorders, including addiction, I’m very excited to announce we are presenting my Addiction-Free Pain Management® Certification Training in Sacramento on August 5-7, 2010. To learn more about this and my other upcoming trainings you can check out our Calendar page.
You can learn about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System at our website www.addiction-free.com. If you are working with people undergoing chronic pain management and want to learn how to develop a plan for managing their chronic pain and coexisting psychological disorders; including depression, addiction and other coexisting psychological disorders effectively; please consider my book Managing Pain and Coexisting Disorders: Using the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System. To purchase this book please Click Here.
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