An emotional connection: chronic pain and mental health

BEMER Therapy, CBD, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Pain Management, Stress

Chronic pain and mental health are intrinsically linked, and, more often than not, one works to aggravate the other. An unfortunate cycle to find yourself stuck in!

Living with constant pain will inevitably impact your mood and overall quality of life, meaning it’s common for chronic pain sufferers to also struggle with mental health conditions like depression, chronic stress and anxiety.

In fact, studies show that ‘an estimated 35-45% of people with chronic pain also experience depression’ and that ‘the prevalence of mental illness ranges from 33-46% among individuals with chronic pain conditions.’

But how are chronic pain and mental health linked? And what steps can you take to manage both simultaneously?

Chronic Pain and Mental Health Conditions 

If you suffer from chronic pain, you may have also struggled with the following mental health conditions. Here’s why:

Anxiety – anxiety stems from fear, and when you have chronic pain, you live in a constant state of fear of that pain and everything that comes with it. Too much movement? Afraid of a flare-up? Having to cancel your plans? Anxious about losing friends? This is why it’s so common for people with conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia to also struggle with anxiety.

Depression – chronic pain, as you know, isn’t always curable, and this can leave you feeling helpless. Feelings of isolation and loneliness can also creep in, as can problems with sleep. These things in combination can lead to depression, making it a common complaint for those suffering from chronic pain conditions.

Stress – living in constant pain and not knowing when or if things may improve is an incredibly stressful thing. Cortisol levels increase, and your body remains in fight or flight mode indefinitely. This in itself can cause pain, adding to the pain-stress cycle.

Coping with Chronic Pain and Mental Health 

While chronic pain impacting mental health is common, that certainly doesn’t mean it’s something you should have to put up with. To help manage both, give these tips a go:

  1. First and foremost, seek medical treatment – speak to your doctor about your pain and mental health, they should be able to provide you with treatment programs or medication to get both under control.
  2. Try new therapies –  give new therapies like BEMER® Therapy a go, or utilise the benefits of CBD supplements. Not everything works for everyone, but being open to trying new things is valuable.
  3. Practice mindfulness – this can help ground you and may enable you to better manage physical pain and symptoms of mental health conditions.
  4. Seek support from friends and family – chronic pain and mental health problems can make you feel isolated. Seek out support from family and friends, be open with them and allow them to extend help if you need it.

Managing Chronic Pain with Rolling with the Glen 

While chronic pain and mental health will always be linked in some way, they are both manageable in their own right.

For support with managing your chronic pain condition or just for some advice from a fellow chronic pain sufferer, please do not hesitate to get in touch

Share this post:

Read These Next

How Horse Riding Improves Posture

How Horse Riding Improves Posture

Rediscovering my love of horse riding has taught me many things. Firstly, it’s taught me that just because I live with chronic pain conditions doesn’t mean I can’t take up and enjoy physical hobbies. Secondly, horses are good for the soul. Thirdly, riding regularly...

Break up with your pain | Mindful Uncoupling

Break up with your pain | Mindful Uncoupling

Relationships are complex. Some leave you feeling loved and content, while others make you want to run for the hills. Unfortunately, your relationship with chronic pain probably falls into the latter category. And although we wish we could, we can’t just tell our...

Is your posture impacting your chronic pain condition?

Is your posture impacting your chronic pain condition?

Are you sitting up straight? Is your head back? Shoulders down? Is your weight distributed evenly?  It's a lot to think about, isn't it? Posture is an integral part of our overall health and well-being, but it's often overlooked and replaced by habitual movement and...