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Major Depression and Body Pain1,239 Views
Causes of Depression will start in
There are a number of causes of depression. Some can be attributed to abuse, genetics, death or loss, conflict and medications. Learn more about the causes of depression.
Description: Depression can have both psychological and physical repercussions. Learn more about the relationship between major depression and body pain here.
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The effects of depression aren’t all in your head. About 30 percent of those diagnosed with clinical depression also have persistent body pain. And research shows that as painful symptoms get worse, so do psychological complaints. That’s because brain functions that let us feel and manage PAIN are closely aligned with brain functions that produce feelings of depression and anxiety. Research shows that both PAIN and DEPRESSION travel along the same neurological pathways and the same neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine, are responsible for regulating them. When body pain is associated with DEPRESSION, the pain often comes on as ACHES or SHARP SENSATIONS in the head, back, chest, stomach and joints. Some people also experience bouts of fatigue and exhaustion, no matter how much sleep and rest they get. Unfortunately, many doctors aren’t aware that pain symptoms can be associated with depression and they search in vain for some other physical source. Some studies suggest that if physicians evaluated all pain patients for mood disorders , they might discover that 60 PERCENT of them had UNdiagnosed depression. If you suffer from undiagnosed chronic pain OR have been diagnosed with depression and pain in combination, treatment may include: *Medication, such as antidepressants *Cognitive-behavioral therapy to ease depression and help you change your pain response * Stress management, including relaxation techniques, hypnosis, or biofeedback * Supportive individual and or family counseling. Keep in mind, it might take some time to find the right treatment or combination of treatments to ease your pain AND manage your depression. But if you work with your doctor, the chances are very good that you will find what works for you.
Did You Know?
Major depression is not only a disorder that affects your emotions,it may manifest itself in the form of many physical complaints – one being pain. This is why major depression and body pain often occur together. Some sources say that major depression brings on chronic body pains while others believe that chronic pain may actually trigger depression. This is why depression and pain are often considered to be comorbid.
Why do depression and pain occur together?
Pain can be caused by an injury, an infection, or an illness. However, sometimes there may be no apparent reason for persistent and long term pain. Similarly, the exact causes of depression are still not clear either. What is known is that episodes of depression may be triggered by different factors. It is also thought that the physical and psychological suffering as a result of chronic pain may actually increase the likelihood of triggering depression in a person. Chronic pain may also worsen the symptoms of depression and increase a person’s suicidal tendencies. Depression may also occur with fibromyalgia, a disease that causes muscle pain and sore spots around the body.
On the other hand, people with depression may become more susceptible to developing chronic pain. Having major depression may reduce a person’s tolerance to pain. Also, depression may thus lead to somatic preoccupation. Somatic preoccupation refers to a state where a person with a psychological disorder develops symptoms of a physical disorder which does not really exist.
Another explanation is that people with depression may have higher levels of cytokines. These are proteins that affect how our immune system responds to infections. By curbing its activity, cytokines promote inflammation which may lead to more body pain.
Treating Major Depression and Pain
When chronic pain occurs during a depressive episode, drugs that treat depression may also relieve pain.. Besides medication, other options to treat body pain and depression that may help include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Inclusion of more aerobic exercise in your daily routine
- Making dietary changes
- Electroconvulsive therapy
While depression cannot be cured, the treatment options mentioned above can help greatly in managing symptoms associated with both depression and chronic body pains.