Pain is your body’s defense against serious harm. However, when you’re living with chronic pain, it can affect you not only physically, but also emotionally and mentally.
At Klarity Clinic, the experienced pain management team understands the connection between chronic pain and mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. To help you manage pain that isn’t treatable with other therapies, they offer innovative treatments like ketamine infusion therapy, which can also address co-occurring mental health disorders.
Why you have pain
When you get hurt or something in your body isn’t functioning properly, your brain signals your systems to stop doing whatever it is you’re doing and stimulates your brain to produce pain sensations. This is a protective measure to reduce your risk for further injury.
However, this protective response isn’t meant to last forever. Generally, acute pain lasts less than six weeks and is treatable with medications, rest, and other conservative therapies. When your pain lasts longer than six months, it’s considered chronic and may be more difficult to treat.
Chronic pain can result from a variety of underlying medical conditions or from trauma you suffer to your body. Many people don’t realize how their persistent pain can contribute to mental health issues and soon become overwhelmed trying to manage both conditions at the same time.
5 facts about chronic pain and mental health
Understanding the connection between chronic pain and mental health disorders can go a long way to helping you get the help you need to manage both.
1. Chronic pain can cause changes in your brain and body
Chronic pain leads to physical and emotional stress that can change your hormone levels and the neurotransmitters in your brain. These changes can increase your risk for persistent symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
2. Mental health issues can worsen your pain
When you’re dealing with both pain and symptoms of mental health disorder, the stress of your situation can aggravate your pain and make it worse.
Also, your pain might prevent you from getting quality sleep, so your body can’t get the rest it needs to function optimally – once again worsening your pain and your mental issues.
3. The good days can lead to more bad days
People who live with chronic pain and/or a mental health condition tend to take advantage of the good days, doing as much as they can while feeling good.
However, too much activity at one time can make things more difficult for you later. It’s important that you pace yourself, so you can keep a healthy balance between good days and bad days.
4. Pay attention to social isolation
People who live with chronic pain may be prone to isolating behaviors. When you aren’t feeling well, you likely want to stay close to home. You might also feel guilty about your condition slowing others down, so you tend to stay on your own.
Unfortunately, continued isolation can trigger or worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression. This makes it difficult to get out of the cycle of pain and isolation.
5. Suicide is a manifestation of chronic pain and mental health issues
When chronic pain and mental health conditions remain untreated for too long, your risk for self-harm or suicide increases significantly.
If you misuse your pain medications or self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to mask your pain and mental health issues, you’re also at increased risk for accidental overdose and premature death.
Before you spiral out of control, contact the team at Klarity Clinic to learn how ketamine can work for you. The team can customize a treatment plan to your needs using intravenous (IV) infusions of ketamine that work directly on your brain to instantly relieve pain and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Call the Klarity Clinic office nearest you, or book a consultation online today to get started on the road to recovery from chronic pain and symptoms of mental health disorders.