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Chronic Pain is a problem that is experienced by about a third of the population in the United States. Depression is something that accompanies Chronic Pain very frequently. In fact, statistics show that about 85% of patients who suffer from chronic pain suffer from some form of depression.
Some of the symptoms of depression include things like: sleep disturbance which is sleeping too much or too little, appetite disturbance, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, withdrawal from other people, a foreshortened sense of future or a fear of dying, loss of motivation, and a whole host of other symptoms that make it very difficult to recover from Chronic Pain. In fact, there are many indications that Chronic Pain and depression have the same symptoms and they actually feed off each other.
Fortunately, there are many types of treatment available for depression that’s related to chronic pain. Antidepressant therapy can be very effective for patients who experience chronic pain with depression because the antidepressants not only can help to relieve the symptoms of depression but because the same biochemical pathways are involved in depression and chronic pain, the antidepressant medication can have a secondary effect providing some pain relief. In addition, cognitive behavior therapy can be effective in dealing with depression that’s related to chronic pain. Such kind of therapies involve helping the patient to observe their surroundings so that they find things that are enjoyable in their situation even though they are in pain. This allows them to be optimistic and not only focus on the pain in their lives but rather the good in them.
Often times the antidepressant therapy and the cognitive behavior treatment are combined with physical therapy exercises and rehabilitation in what’s called a chronic pain program. Our chronic pain program here, the CoPE program, has been very effective in helping patients overcome chronic pain and depression and helped patients become much more functional and get off pain medications.
If you are experiencing depression related to chronic pain, do not despair. There are many treatments available ranging from antidepressant therapies, psychotherapy, and the integrated chronic pain management program that can help you to overcome depression and chronic pain and get you back to the business of living life. Thank You.