Since 1999, the amount of suicides in the United States has grown by 27%. Treating suicidal depression has always been challenging, as the most common treatment methodologies—namely, antidepressants and psychotherapy—can take weeks, and sometimes even months, to take effect. It goes without saying that, if an individual is having suicidal thoughts, he or she needs immediate relief to prevent self-harm or worse.
Not everyone has a happy-for-the-holidays mentality. Many people are grieving the loss of a loved one. Many other are facing the holidays alone. And still more are feeling financially overwhelmed, annoyed by unwanted house guests, and imbalanced with a schedule far more full than in other months of the year.
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?