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  • Kristie Bray, LPCC

Depression and Pain?

By: Kristie Bray, LPCC

Depression and pain go together. Depression can cause pain and pain can cause depression. It can be a cycle back and forth between the two. Physical symptoms maybe the first symptoms a patient notices and seeks treatment for. These symptoms may include headaches, joint and back pains, stomach aches, and general aches throughout the body. When a patient complains that they are feeling physical pain there may be a chemical reason for it. Physical pain and depression have a connection through our neurotransmitters; serotonin and norepinephrine. Research suggests that anywhere from 30 to 50% of people with chronic pain also struggle with depression or anxiety.

You might be suffering from depression in addition to pain if you have some of the following symptoms:

  • lack of interest in activities

  • depressed mood or irritability

  • changes in sleep patterns

  • changes in appetite

  • feelings of guilt or despair

  • lack of energy

  • trouble concentrating

  • suicidal thoughts.

Treating both the emotional and physical symptoms of depression are important in achieving remission. A patient may need antidepressant drugs, psychotherapy, self-relaxation techniques, and physical therapy modalities such as one's offered through The Craniofacial and TMJ Institute to decrease the pain itself.

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Want to learn more about how pain is directed through our body. Watch the this 2-minute neuroscience: Pain video by Neuroscientifically Challenged.

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