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Pain and Mental Health

deloriearddeloriear Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
After reading a few posts, I noticed some people are taking anti-depressants along with pain medications. I know pain will affect our quality of life. I myself am in the beginning stages of spinal problems so it will get much worse NS said. Great, now I have something to look foward to, can't imagaine living with worse pain than now but I'm sure it will happen. I am still in denial this is all happening. I want to wake up and think this is all a dream. I am so healthy otherwise and always took care of myself. I was on Percocet, got off that b/c as with most people, it was short acting, slept 20 hrs a day, and couldn't function. Now I'm trying Gabapentin, just got on it yesterday so I didn't feel effects yet. I know even now, it is hard for me to do the things I am able to enjoy. I can't imagaine not being able to go to work and make a living. I truley feel for those of you out there in that position. But back to my point, is it helpful to be on anti-depressants? I am not depressed, just annoyed at this point but I was just curious. If anyone could shed light on this I would appreciate it.


  • Some of the anti-depressants work on the same receptors in the brain that are also affected by pain...so, in a way, they help in two ways. They can relieve feelings of depression, anxiety, etc. and they can help to lessen pain.

    What a pleasant message from your NS....How can he predict what will happen to you in the future? You might want to describe briefly your spine problems so people are better able to offer suggestions, share experiences, etc.
  • Sorry..Yes, it may help if I described my symptoms. I have stenosis in C3-7, DDD, Arthritis in my knees and neck. The weird thing is my left side is the only side affected. I have times where the pain is so bad I get sick to my stomach. B/C a lot of my issues are degenerative, not injury based, NS said it will get worse over time. MRI revealed "moderate" wear. I hate to experience pain when its "severe". But I can't live my life wondering how long or when this will happen. I think I'm ready for a new MRI but NS said lets hold off, its only been 2 years since my last one. I told him pain is more constant now than 2 years ago. Thats why I get so upset, he always pulls up images of last MRI while he is talking to me and he won't bend on new MRI. NS thinks pain is "mentally" based. I would like to stick a sharp object in his neck and arm and tell him his pain is in his "head". Maybe there isn't any changes but I would think more constant pain calls for a new MRI. I am meeting with my PC on Oct 7th, so I will talk to him about it.
  • How you act toward the infirmity right now can shape the outlook on what pain will be defined as in your life. Pain simply is, no more no less, its our mental image or fears that shape the quality of "it",
    being realistic in the expectations , adjusting to the course as it happens, and not being afraid of the changes helps a bit in the transition.
    Your going to have a life regardless of what happens,
    You create your life as you go, just as you always have, there is no stroger person than the one who can bend and not break!
    Good luck to ya and hope these little thoughts help ya!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • I looked at my dr once and told him that if I cracked him in the "johnson" -- with my cane --every time I came in for a visit, would he feel pain, before I arrived for my appointment? The answer is yes, but - with pain, if you are tossing cookies or for me, diarehea, and high blood pressure, it is signs of uncontrolled pain. You may need to find a new Dr to treat the pain.

    Have you been to a pain clinic yet? Mind/body/meditation - pin cushion stuff, and the rest of the conservative methods?

    Try it - you may find something that helps! Also you may need to accept slowing down, to decrease the wear and tear on yourself.
  • That is a simple fact of the 21st century. When doctors make decisions based on what the insurance company is going to allow and worry that an insurance company will not allow them on their panel because they order too many tests we are screwed. And that is where some docs are and where all docs are going. My IME criticized my ortho for ordering MRIs 2 months after my accident.

    Remember that doctor is being evaluated by the insurance companies all the time. If he isn't cost effective they get rid of him and bring on another doctor who plays by their rules. Did someone mention socialized medicine????

    Degenerative diseases mean that in time it will get worse. If you learn all you can about your condition you can do the most to stretch out the good times and prepare for the bad times. Several years ago my mother who is an avid quilter realized that her eyesight was irreparably damaged by macular degeneration. There was no going back so she finished up her more dainty work. THen she switched to larger scale work and today she can't quilt but she can look at the lovely work she has done. If she had thrown down the work back then we all would have missed out on alot of beautiful work.

    It sounds to me like you need some mental therapy to help you accept and cope with your physical problems. I know it is hard to accept but sometimes a pill is not the answer or maybe not the answer alone. Ask your PC for the name of a therapist who you can talk to. Make sure they have experience with coping with physical problems.

    Good Luck and keep talking - you're not on the 50 min/hour clock here :)
  • hi deloriear,
    anti depressants have worked for me. ive been on them since 2001 when i was diagnosed with OCD which caused some depression. they keep my anxiety at a managable level. of course what works for some may not work for others, but i feel that my quality of life is better when im on them. hope this helps....nick
  • I hope you are starting your gabapentin slowly, and building up to the dose your dr wants you on. It takes ahile for it to start working, so don't give up on it too soon. I take Cymbalta, which helps for my nerve pain. I don't have clinical depression, but I think anybody who has chronic pain is bound to be to some degree depressed. I know there are times I just wish for one day pain free. Haven't had that in over 25 years. But I still work, take care of my home, as much as I can anyway :D . You just have to learn to do things in stages instead of all at once. Nutricious meals, exercise, and yes metal outlook helps too. Hang in there.

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