For all those people suffering from chronic pain, we all know that excruciating pain which never seems to leave you alone, to the point where it seems like it’s a part of your life. But that is still physical. What about your mental health?
In this article, we will take our time to explore how chronic pain can affect your mental health and other such related topics. We will try and understand the why, what, when, and how of chronic pain affecting an individual’s mental health.
What is chronic pain?
Before we explore the main topic, let us quickly shed some light on what chronic pain is. Chronic pain refers to a constant pain that is felt regularly or is felt in spasms. This type of pain can last for weeks, years, or even lifetimes and may tend to come and go.
The reason behind such pain can vary from case to case. However, the main reason is due to dysfunctional or inflammatory nerves.
Effect of Chronic Pain on Mental Health
If you are wondering whether chronic pains can have any effects, if at all, on an individuals’ mental health, the answer is — yes. However, the effects can be serious if an individual has mental issues and suffers from chronic pains simultaneously.
Managing chronic pain at work, at home, or in the general course of life can get difficult, giving rise to several complicated mental issues. A person may suffer from panic attacks, insomnia, along with the common occurrence of depression and anxiety.
On top of that, diagnosing chronic pain can be quite a difficult ordeal. This can cause frustration and cause an individual to be exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally.
The connection between chronic pain and one’s mental health changes through a chain of complicated reactions which start affecting chemicals in the brain and the stress hormones. Respectively, the effects on the parts of one’s brain start expanding with time.
What can be the solution?
Finding a solution can be a tricky thing as there are too many causes for the pain, which include the actual source of the chronic pain along with the causes behind the mental issues.
However, as difficult as it may prove to be, there are always some solutions that can fit you right. Of them, here are a few that you can opt for:
You may opt for a consultation with a pain psychologist who helps people deal with their chronic pain and their subsequent mental side effects.
● Lifestyle and self-care strategies
According to experts, positive changes to your lifestyle and self-care habits can bring about significant changes in your mental health, along with relief from chronic pain (permanent or temporary).
● Take medication
You can take prescribed medications for both chronic pain and mental health issues.
● Opt for surgical options
This includes surgeries that can help you manage your chronic pain; if not, make do with them permanently.
So that is how chronic pain can affect a person’s mental health. If you are someone who suffers from chronic pain and you see signs of depression, anxiety, or insomnia, you should immediately seek the help of a professional.