Is My Pain Making Me Depressed?
Last updated: February 2019
When I was younger which was a lifetime ago; I can remember times that I would get upset very quickly and have mood swings and start to cry at the drop of a dime. This would go on for days at a time; unfortunately, I didn’t share this with anyone, so I was in my own world. There were times that I couldn’t even breathe.
I’m sure that many people would not agree with me saying that pain brings on depression. I think this is a no brainer for me as psoriatic arthritis has its share of symptoms that bring on depression for me personally. My joints would get so tight and painful in my hands that I would cry. My knees would give out as the swelling and inflammation take on a world of its own. Let’s not even talk about spine pain.
Is there a connection between pain and depression?
My biggest struggle has been that people misunderstand what I am going through; especially doctors. It’s hard for anyone to understand how much pain you can have in your lower back and joints and muscles. How do you explain heel pain? How can you explain to someone that you are fatigued all the time? That it takes so much of your energy to walk up a flight of stairs or even go to the bathroom. I take multiple medications along with a biologic that also effects my energy level. Sadness starts to set in at times and depression wants to take over.
One of the things I have thought about over the past few decades of my life is- can there be a connection between depression and pain? Can being depressed cause you misery? Can anyone tell me what pain or depression looks like? I know for me it was not wanting to get out of bed and cry all day. There are days I didn’t want to eat and had very low self-esteem. There were sometimes that I would get severe headaches.
Managing my pain and my depression
I had to learn to get this all out in the open. I went to a doctor who gave me antidepressant medications to get rid of the pain and help with the depression. I also joined a support group and found people that were just like me and going through what I was going through. Pain effects our ability to just live a normal life. It makes you see yourself so differently.
I found me a quiet place and found that lying flat on my back was great for me. The quietness does something that lowers your pain level. I tell myself that I will not allow depression to bring unwanted pain in my body. Depression will not be my end story. I have found ways to take a hold of it and manage pain. Many are dealing with depression and not realize that it is attached to the pain level in his body. Well, one thing I can share with you is that as your body changes with age, you will start to hurt in places that didn’t hurt before.
Know there is help available
As with anything in life we know that just talking to someone sometimes helps with emotional support even if it’s online help. If you do have depression and chronic pain discuss this with your doctor. Let him know about the physical and emotional symptoms you are having. I know you all understand that just because you can’t see your pain doesn’t make it any less real. I have said this before, we are not alone on this journey. You need to figure out who can help you take control of your body and mind. So, let’s get busy and take our life back. We are not the victim.
Do you have any questions about PsA?