Did you know that people who suffer from chronic pain are more likely to experience depression?
Mental and physical pain are inextricably linked. Depression often presents itself in a myriad of ways, but those suffering most notably experience:
• A constant mood that is depressed, sad, blue, hopeless, low, or irritable
• Crying spells
• Poor appetite or significant weight loss or increased appetite or weight gain
• Issues with hypersomnia (too much sleep) or hyposomnia (too little sleep)
• Feeling agitated or restless, or alternatively, lethargic or sluggish
• Little to no pleasure in activities you were once interested in
• Feelings of worthlessness and/or guilt
• Problems with concentration or memory
• Thoughts of death or suicide
Many people suffering from pain focus their time and attention on their disabilities and physical care. But it’s also important to monitor mental health, which can be just as debilitating as a physical ailment.
If you are experiencing depression, knowing that you are not alone is important.
You do not need to suffer in silence and you can take steps to prevent and treat anxiety and depression:
• Share the details: Talk with your healthcare professional about your symptoms.
• Find support: Discuss your pain with others to prevent feelings of isolation.
• Reach out: Look into available therapies such as psychiatry, counselling, or support groups.
• Identify stress: Know your situations or triggers that can cause depression and anxiety.
• Keep a diary: Tracking your feelings can pinpoint the specific causes of your depression.
• Get moving: Although you might have a physical condition that causes you pain, it’s proven that exercise and movement can significantly help with pain management and depression.
• Go easy on yourself: It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by both physical and emotional pain, but remember you are entitled to get the help you deserve and you don’t need to suffer alone.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and it’s an emergency, dial 911. If you need support, use resources like The LifeLine Canada Foundation or Suicide Prevention. Someone is available 24 hours a day to talk to.
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