Chronic pain is pain that lasts for longer than six months and is different from acute pain, which is short-lived and usually has a clear medical cause. Some common sources of chronic pain are back aches and neck pain, although it can occur anywhere in the body. Chronic pain ranges from a small irritation to a debilitating condition. Due to this, chronic pain can severely affect your mental health.
Causes of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be the result of a physical health condition. Some long term conditions like arthritis, cancer, ulcers, fibromyalgia or traumatic injuries could cause chronic pain. People may still experience the pain even after the health condition is resolved. Chronic pain is not always easy to source, which can add to the individual's frustration.
Chronic Pain and Mental Health
Chronic pain can also develop as a result of a mental health condition, which is more common than people may realize. Depression is often closely related to chronic pain, as the stress of living with depression can manifest in the form of physical symptoms. Chronic pain has also been linked to anxiety, grief, unexpressed anger, and emotional overwhelm.
In the reverse sense, chronic pain can also cause someone to experience stress, anxiety, and depression.
Coping with Chronic Pain
In addition to medical treatment, pain management can include activities with light exercise, social events, and distractions with hobbies. Social support is especially important, as family and friends have shown to lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety that come from chronic pain. Other forms of treatment include: acupuncture, physical therapy, and talk therapy. If you are currently experiencing chronic pain, let us pair you with a therapist who can help you deal with the psychological effects (click here)!