Effects of Chronic Pain on Your Mental Health

Everyone expects to bounce back to their usual selves after an injury or health concern. Unfortunately, this might not be the case with chronic pain. The pain might last longer than expected, approximately 12weeks, despite medical intervention. However, the pain may occur without a history of illness or surgery. William Yancey, an interventional pain specialist in Houston, asserts that there is so much a chronic pain patient can do to help himself enjoy a fulfilling life.

What makes chronic pain different from other pains?

Chronic pain significantly differs from acute pain in different ways. For instance, acute pain occurs when you hurt yourself, experience a fractured bone or have a bruise or cut on your skin. Additionally, your body is likely to recover from acute pain immediately after you recover from the source of the pain. On the other hand, chronic pain lingers long after recovering from the illness or injury. Chronic pain takes different forms and affects different parts of your body, including the neck. The common causes of chronic pain include:

  • Cancer pain, especially near the abnormal growth
  • Testicular pain
  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Neurogenic pain that results from damaged veins or issues with your nervous system.
  • Migraines

How does it feel experiencing chronic pain?

Chronic pains have primary causes in most instances. The pain might result from a long-term illness like arthritis that makes you experience ongoing pain. Injuries and ailments may also cause changes in your system, leaving you sensitive to sensations. Unfortunately, the changes might linger long after you heal from the condition or injury. However, sometimes the pain might not be associated with an injury or a health concern. Also referred to as psychosomatic or psychogenic pain, such non-injury or ailment association pain may result from psychological factors like depression and anxiety. In other instances, chronic pain may result from two interconnected causes like depression and migraines.

Chronic pain patients describe the pain in different ways. It might be mild or severe, may come and go or linger for long. The pain might feel like:

  • Throbbing
  • Squeezing
  • Soreness
  • Dull ache 
  • Shooting
  • Burning
  • Stinging
  • Stiffness   

Sometimes the pain is part of a combination of other symptoms, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Overall weakness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling fatigued

How does chronic pain affect your mental health?

Chronic pain will interfere with your everyday life, preventing you from doing what you love and ought to do. The symptoms might adversely affect your self-esteem, making you feel frustrated, angry, anxious and depressed. Since the pain and your emotions might develop a cycle, you will feel even worse when depression or anxiety jets in. Pain may also interfere with your sleeping pattern, enhancing your stress levels. Thus, stress and sleeplessness might make the pain profound.    

Chronic pain is common. It is one of the reasons you will contact your doctor for medical attention. However, the pain should not interfere with the things you love doing when you can call your doctor for help.