The Psychological Impact of Chronic Pain

No one wants to be in pain. When that pain is ongoing or chronic, it can be especially difficult to deal with. Unfortunately, there’s more to chronic pain than the pain itself. Chronic pain often goes beyond physical suffering to elicit threats to one’s emotional, mental and psychological well-being. In fact, it is reported that chronic pain sufferers are three times more likely to develop depression. The psychological effects don’t stop there. Many patients who are in chronic pain also experience irritability, mood swings and other unwanted setbacks that affect their quality of life. This makes it imperative that you seek qualified help for treating and managing your chronic pain.

Pain Can Change the Brain

Did you know that pain impacts your emotional state and mood on a molecular level? Regardless of where it is in your body, when you are in a chronic state of pain, your brain is altered. Pain signals the brain to go into survival mode, or “fight or flight.” This triggers physical and chemical changes in the mind and body as it responds to this stress, such increased heart rate and impaired blood flow to certain muscles.

If the pain is temporary, the body eventually resolves this stress response and returns to normal function. However, if the pain persists (like it does with chronic pain), the constant state of stress can cause significant repercussions throughout the body. Beyond stomach and heart issues, chronic pain can lead to very real psychological modifications due to the prolonged systemic alterations that are happening in the body on a physical and chemical level. This can mean a change in behavior, mood and brain function.

The Emotional and Physical Connection of Pain

Did you know that physical pain and emotional pain reside in almost the same circuitry of the nervous system? Pain is undeniably linked to emotions. Therefore, it is understandable that chronic pain is commonly associated with emotional changes. Among these are anxiety and depression. For some patients, this anxiety and/or depression can be crippling, especially when treatment or relief for the pain has failed repeatedly or seems hopeless.

Find a Qualified Chronic Pain Physician

Are you living with chronic pain? Do you experience symptoms of depression, anxiety or other psychological effects? You are not alone – and you are not crazy. At Clear Immediate Care, we have taken extensive measures to not only understand chronic pain but treat it as well. We understand the widespread impact that chronic pain can have on your entire body – including your mind and mood. Please schedule your consult with us today and let us present our proven and advanced treatment options for chronic pain, including Ketamine infusion therapy that has shown remarkable success in treating chronic pain and treatment-resistant depression.