Antidepressant Therapy for Chronic Pain Management

Source: WebMD

Because depression and chronic pain conditions are frequently linked, they may be treated together to reduce pain and restore a patient’s quality of life.

What Is Antidepressant Therapy?

Antidepressant treatment may include a combination of psychotherapy, medicine, or both. Some antidepressants can treat depression while also reducing several other symptoms of chronic pain sufferers, such as nerve-related pain disorders.

How Do Antidepressants Work?

Antidepressants are designed to relieve thoughts or feelings of depression by adjusting the regions in the brain that are controlled by neurotransmitters, which are chemicals in the brain whose primary job is to transfer messages among brain cells. 

Typical examples of antidepressant medications may include venlafaxine, citalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline, amitriptyline, bupropion, desipramine, duloxetine, and paroxetine.

Applying Psychotherapy Or Talk Therapy As Early Treatment

Talk therapy or psychotherapy may be used to treat both chronic pain and depression by practicing a wide variety of techniques characterized by talking with a trained professional. A psychotherapist is designed to help the patient identify the emotions, ideas, and behaviors that trigger their depression. They may also assist the patient to determine which life events, such as chronic pain, divorce, job loss, major illness, or the death of a loved one can contribute to depression. 

Psychotherapists are trained how to teach patients how to work through aspects of their life or certain feelings to successfully cope with their depressive symptoms and how to regain pleasure or a sense of control in their life. Talk therapy may also be used to help patients redirect their attention or focus from their chronic pain.


One study found that using a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy called Rumination, focused cognitive behavioral therapy, and antidepressant medications ended with remission in approximately 62 percent of chronic pain sufferers. Other successful treatments include mindfulness, relaxation training, diaphragmatic breathing, and biofeedback.