Chronic Pain, Depression and Addiction

Chronic Pain, Depression and AddictionChronic pain and depression often increase the other. When an individual experiences pain without enough relief, he becomes more susceptible to pain and notices it more. Chronic pain leads to restless sleep, irritability and fatigue, which may make normal activities seem overwhelming. In this situation individuals may become depressed by their inability to complete normal tasks or enjoy fun activities.

There is a neurological link between pain and depression. Serotonin and norepinephrine are two brain chemicals that control mood and the experience of pain, which is why depression often follows chronic pain and pain is felt more keenly by those who are already depressed. This is also why some antidepressants reduce pain symptoms.

Chronic pain hinders the functioning of the nervous system, increasing sensitivity to pain and decreasing mood regulation. If pain and depression are not treated, these neurological issues may affect behavior. Individuals experiencing pain will reduce their activity, which may increase the chance of joint and muscle stiffness, weight gain and more pain. Depression and pain lead to isolation, which worsens mood. Experiencing depression and chronic pain at the same time increases the chance of unhealthy coping methods.

How Chronic Pain and Depression May Lead to Addiction

The cycle of chronic pain and depression are powerful causes of unhealthy coping methods, especially when painkillers are being prescribed for physical pain. The potential for abuse is greater when chronic pain is accompanied by depression, and any withdrawal symptoms due to drug dependence are harder to deal with.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, even when preventing addiction. Many individuals try to be strong and ignore symptoms of depression or pain, but treating these disorders will make life easier and more enjoyable. Always tell your doctor about depression and chronic pain when they occur, especially when they occur together. Being proactive in your medical care and discussing treatment options may prevent addiction from developing. If possible, treat depression and chronic pain in the order they appeared, and consider alternatives to opiates and other addictive substances for pain relief.

Find Treatment for Addiction, Depression and Chronic Pain

If you struggle with depression, pain and addiction, then you should call us now. These problems may seem hopeless, but treatment can help you recover. Call now, as our counselors are available 24 hours a day at our toll-free helpline to answer your questions and help you find the best treatment for your needs.