The relationship between chronic pain and depression is very much cyclical and self-reinforcing. Even though depression is a mental health disorder, it still manifests in unexplainable physical ways: back pain, migraine headaches, etc. Likewise, chronic pain oftentimes results in equally concerning mental manifestations: heightened stress, disturbed sleep patterns, low self-esteem, etc. And the worst part is that these mentally and physically painful conditions seem to feed off of each other, reinforcing a perpetual and vicious cycle of suffering. Chronic pain exacerbates depressive symptoms, which, in turn, makes pain symptoms worse. And so it goes on…
So, how do we break this cycle of pain and depression?
First, it’s especially important to be proactive. More often than not, people are aware of the signs of depression before it becomes a real issue. Similarly, acute pain, when left unaddressed, can easily become chronic pain. Being an advocate for your own health is key in preventing the cycle of depression and chronic pain. If you notice any of these symptoms, speak with a physician—even if you don’t think they are problematic.
• Sadness or anxiety
• Sleep dysfunction
• Feelings of hopelessness
• Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
• Over- or under-eating
• Lack of motivation
Be aware of situations that heighten your stress levels, and avoid them as much as is possible. For example, if running late is something that stresses you out, be extra cautious about giving yourself extra time to get where you’re going. Stress can increase physical pain levels, so anytime you can prevent yourself from getting stressed out, you are also preventing yourself from entering the debilitating cycle of chronic pain and depression.
Maybe you believe that your depressive symptoms will be automatically resolved once your pain issues have been addressed. However, you should still speak with a physician about your symptoms so that all members of the care team are equipped to proactively address any mental or physical impediments to the healing process. Talking about depression now could prevent months—or even years—of suffering later.
How can ketamine help treat chronic pain and depression?
Ketamine infusions are proven to treat both chronic pain and depression in up to 70% of patients. When both of these conditions are negatively impacting your life, ketamine may be a great choice for you. However, taking a multi-disciplinary approach to treating the symptoms of chronic pain and depression is more high yield than any one treatment method alone. Also consider:
• Talk therapy or psychotherapy
• Stress reduction techniques: exercise, meditation, journaling, etc.
• Traditional pharmacological solutions & medications
A combination of ketamine infusions with the above treatments will likely yield the best results, reducing chronic pain and depressive symptoms before they become untreatable.
Contact Spine Intervention Clinic
You don’t need to suffer, stuck in an endless cycle of pain and depression—you have options, especially with Spine Intervention Clinic. We offer spinal injections for back pain relief, as well as ketamine infusions for chronic pain and depression. We are happy to offer a free consultation to new patients wishing to learn more about the various pain relief and anti-psychotic services we offer. Just complete the brief form below and a member of our clinical team will contact you to answer questions and address your concerns.