We all suffer pain at some point in our life, whether bodily or emotional discomfort brought on by a disease, an injury, or a traumatic incident. Acute pain, which is the type of pain that most of us encounter, is defined as pain that normally lasts less than 3 to 6 months. And for some people, discomfort can persist longer than the typical 3 to 6 months or go gone and come back, this is referred to as persistent or chronic pain.
Low health-related quality of life is caused by chronic pain, frequently accompanied by other medical problems like depression and anxiety.
More than one in five people in the US suffer from chronic pain. According to the National Health Survey, 20.4% of adults report having some form of chronic pain, with about a third of those people reporting high-impact chronic pain that interferes with everyday activities. Women (21.7%), non-Hispanic white adults (23.6%).
Chronic pain causes both physical and psychological stress. It is known that long-term stress alters the concentrations of neurochemicals and stress hormones in your brain and nervous system. Even though pain may just be physically felt, it can have a negative impact on your mood, thinking, and behaviour. Additionally, it may cause problems with a person’s sleep, relationships, job, and other parts of their life. Some people may experience depression if the equilibrium of these chemicals in their bodies is upset.
CONDITIONS THAT CAUSE CHRONIC PAIN AND IMPACT MENTAL HEALTH
Chronic pain is frequently associated with specific medical disorders. The following are a few chronic pain medical illnesses that may be detrimental to mental health :
- Back and neck pain
- Endometriosis and uterine fibroids
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
HOW TO MANAGE THE EFFECTS OF CHRONIC PAIN ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?
You can take steps to help you manage the consequences of chronic pain on your mental health and get medical assistance to help manage pain. A few of these are :
- Exercise :- Research has shown that exercise can help in treating and preventing the signs and symptoms of sadness and anxiety. Increase your activity level gradually to prevent injury, especially if you are suffering from a chronic pain condition. Always consult your doctor to find out if exercising is safe for you because in some states it may impact your capacity to do so.
- Eating a balanced diet :- Eating wholesome foods and staying away from trigger foods might make you feel better and improve your ability to manage pain. Certain foods, including sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and gluten, may occasionally have a negative impact on your health.
- Utilizing breathing exercises :- You can manage the stress symptoms that come along with chronic pain by using relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness meditation, and deep breathing.
- Sleeping enough :- It might be challenging to get a good sleep at night while you’re in discomfort. However, obtaining enough sleep is crucial for controlling chronic pain. Consult your doctor for advice on how to manage your pain and adopt healthy sleeping practices, such as avoiding coffee in the afternoon and going to bed at the same time every night.
- Medication :- Some drugs, such as antidepressants that target serotonin and norepinephrine, aid with psychological issues and may also directly reduce pain.