Depression is more commonly seen in people with chronic back pain problems than in people with pain that is of an acute, short-term nature. Chronic back pain is commonly defined as pain that continues for 12 months or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated.
HOW DOES DEPRESSION DEVELOP IN CASES OF CHRONIC BACK PAIN?
This can be understood by looking at the following symptoms often experienced by people with chronic back pain or other spine-related pain.
- The pain often makes it difficult to sleep, leading to fatigue and irritability during the day.
- Then, during the day, because people with back pain have difficulty with movements, they often move slowly and carefully, spending most of their time at home away from others. This leads to social isolation and a lack of enjoyable activities.
- Due to the inability to work, there may also be financial difficulties that begin to impact the entire family.
- Beyond the pain itself, there may be gastrointestinal distress caused by anti-inflammatory medication and a general feeling of mental dullness from the pain medications.
- The pain is distracting, leading to memory and concentration difficulties.
The symptoms above accompanying chronic back pain or neck pain may lead to feelings of despair, hopelessness and other symptoms of major depression or clinical depression.
Chronic back pain can lead to a diminished ability to engage in a variety of activities such as work, recreational pursuits, and interaction with family members and friends. This situation leads to a downward physical and emotional spiral.
Talking to your doctor is always a good start. You can also search for a depression specialist in your area. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/talking-therapies-medicine-treatments/talking-therapies-and-counselling/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-cbt/overview/