Living with Chronic Pain

5 Tips for Coping with Chronic Pain and Depression


Chronic pain symptoms can contribute to depression so it is important to tackle both with a set of multidisciplinary treatments. Many wonder how to deal with the sad feelings and pain. The following steps may help you or someone you know better cope with chronic pain and depression.

Recognize stressors that increase pain

Track your pain, symptoms, treatments, and activities to understand what may trigger your flare-ups.

Determine an early diagnosis of depression

Consult with your healthcare professional if you are experiencing any of these symptoms of depression: feeling sad or anxious; lack of motivation or energy; lack of interest in activities; feeling hopeless; a change in appetite; struggle falling and/or staying asleep.

Talk about your depression

Many believe once the pain has subsided that the depression and stress will also resolve. Chronic pain can affect family relations, finances, work life, functionality, and the interest in hobbies even after pain as resolved. Continue to seek care for your depression even after chronic pain as been treated. Depression caused by your chronic pain may remain and affect your daily activities.

Use a multidisciplinary approach

For the best treatment options for chronic pain and depression, find a pain management specialist and mental health professional that can help treat your condition.

Alternative treatment options and safe medications for coping

Many psychiatric drugs are also prescribed as pain medications. Commonly used antidepressants are tricyclics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which regulate mood and pain preceptors. Non-medicated treatment options include psychotherapy, physical therapy, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, hypnosis, cognitive and behavioral therapy.

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