Is Chronic Pain Affecting Your Mental Health?

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Medical Professional

Chronic pain can develop for many reasons. If you have experienced an injury that has failed to heal properly, this could become a source of chronic pain. Even when trauma to the body has recovered well, there could be underlying nerve damage that causes ongoing discomfort.

Some diseases may leave you with additional agony, such as fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Other conditions that can lead to chronic pain are stomach ulcers, gallbladder disease and cancer. In many cases, it is difficult to determine a single root cause of chronic pain.

For example, persistent back aches may stem from congenital conditions such as curvature of the spine, poor posture or being overweight. Therefore, it could take medical professionals some time to determine an appropriate course of treatment.

An Overlooked Side Effect of Chronic Pain

Given the complexity of diagnosing chronic pain, sufferers often overlook the effect that it is having on their mental health. Many patients find that a chronic pain condition severely impacts their quality of life. Restricted mobility can reduce your opportunities for socializing, traveling and exercising. Chronic pain may also leave you feeling frustrated and hopeless, when health problems are consuming your entire existence.

What are the Symptoms of Chronic Pain-Related Mood Disorders?

If your chronic pain is from a traumatic injury, you may experience Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). A flare-up from the affected area can be enough to trigger PTSD symptoms. PTSD can seriously impact your quality of life as you may experience behavioral changes, anxiety, fear, mood swings and nightmares.

The physical and mental stress of chronic pain can induce anxiety. This disorder can range from excessive worrying to obsessive compulsive issues and panic. Other indicators include headaches, fatigue and insomnia. Chemical changes in the brain as a result of chronic pain can induce depression. If you feel persistent sadness and are unable to enjoy activities you previously liked, you could be suffering from depression.

At Allied Pain & Spine Institute, we believe in bringing both the mind and the body to wellness and offer a range of treatments for chronic pain-related mood disorders. Contact our San Jose clinic today to discuss your options.

Posted on behalf of Dr. James Petros, Allied Pain & Spine Institute