Dealing with Chronic Pain and its Influence on Mental Health

Dealing with Chronic Pain and its Influence on Mental Health

Nobody wants to be in physical discomfort. Accidently biting our cheek or stubbing our toe can make us feel furious, frustrated, or incapacitated. Though the misery passes quickly, it can be hard to abandon the lingering emotional condition.

If the most threatening injuries we've encountered are biting our cheeks or stubbing our toes, we likely take physical wellness for granted. Most of us awaken without any severe pain issues. We consume breakfast, head to work, care for the kids, visit friends, or attend school. But because we don't know any different, our capacity to move around quickly is taken for granted.

Other individuals are not so fortunate. A study by the CDC calculated that up to 50 million Americans have chronic pain they have to handle every day. For these individuals, reoccurring and relentless pain is an element of daily life. As a result, many are traumatized, depressed, and worried. However, others have discovered ways to cope and minimize the discomfort. Our experts on counseling in Richmond, VA, offer what you need to know about chronic pain and how it can influence mental health.

Chronic Pain: Meaning, Varieties, Therapies

Pain is your body's standard response to inflammation, damage, or illness. It is a signal that informs us that something is wrong. Most discomfort is fleeting, as our bodies are sufficient at recovering quickly. On the other hand, individuals with chronic pain (CPS) suffer from constant, debilitating discomfort. This pain persists for 12 weeks or more and may feel like a burning or painful sensation in the location of the injury. Reasons for chronic pain differ but are generally correlated to the following:

  • Lower back issues
  • Arthritis
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nerve damage
  • Cancer

Therapies for chronic pain lean on the circumstances. Doctors might prescribe pain relievers like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or narcotics like Vicodin or Oxycodone. Sadly, opioid-like drugs are addictive and cause long-term side effects. They also often alter brain structure and heighten anxiety and depression. Less addictive alternatives and more suitable for long-term use include anticonvulsants like gabapentin.

Exercise, eating healthy, physical therapy, weight management programs, nerve stimulation, and psychological therapies are some natural ways to treat chronic pain. However, many sufferers prefer combining alternative and conventional treatments for a more holistic approach.

Influence on Mental Health

People with chronic pain are more likely to develop sadness, irritability, mood changes, and anxiety disorders. The psychological influence of pain on mental health is severe. Pain activates the fight or flight response and increases heart rate and prioritization of blood flow to your muscles.

Because there is no recovery period, chronic pain can induce systemic and chemical brain shifts that affect one's psychological condition. In addition, the increased stress response often leads to additional health issues like heart problems or stomach troubles. Therefore, treating the mental health concerns associated with chronic pain is essential to avoid further health issues.

Chronic pain disrupts a sufferer's daily life. Those who enjoy walking, jogging, and traveling can no longer do so. They may require medication daily or return to the doctor once or twice weekly. This can disrupt their emotional state and make them anxious and depressed. Nobody wants to feel incapacitated or incapable of doing the things they enjoy.
If you struggle with chronic pain, you must understand that you are not alone. Many individuals have used treatments to help decrease symptoms and improve pain-associated mental health issues. In addition, they have discovered ways to control their discomfort so they can lead happier, fuller lives accomplishing the things they adore. Contact us if you need counseling in Richmond, VA. We are here to help!

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