The Ripple Effect of Chronic Pain on Mental Health

Chronic pain is a serious condition that affects countless people in the United States. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that there are 52.4 new cases of chronic pain per 1,000 persons per year. However, despite the increased rates of chronic pain cases, it's still known as the “invisible” disability. This is because if you look at someone, it is not obvious that they are struggling with pain. Learning more about this condition doesn't just help those in pain get help. It also changes our overall view of those struggling with pain.

That's why mental health care facilities such as Driftwood Recovery work to educate the greater public about the role of chronic pain on mental health. By understanding chronic pain, we understand how and why it impacts our mental health so strongly. Offering more support for those struggling with pain also reduces the likelihood of its associated conditions, such as depression and addiction.

But before we can examine the effect that chronic pain can have on mental health, we must first understand what defines chronic pain.

A Brief Overview of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a condition in which a person experiences persistent pain. This pain can last from weeks to years. Sometimes this pain can come and go in waves instead of being constant. This is not the same as acute pain, which eventually vanishes after treatment and healing. The cause of chronic pain varies, but it's usually the result of an illness or disease, an injury, or dysfunction of the nerves and nervous system.

Some examples of conditions that cause chronic pain are:

The list of medical conditions that can cause chronic pain is extensive. Though strides have been made in managing and treating pain, the fact that a person must deal with the pain in the first place can weigh heavy on the psyche. It's especially true when the source of the chronic pain is traumatic or will worsen in time. Treatment for chronic pain is part medical and part psychological, as seen by the various conditions that can arise as a result of constant pain.

Chronic Pain and Mental Health

As mentioned before, the understanding that you will be dealing with constant pain for what may be the rest of your life can be difficult to accept. Pain can prevent someone from enjoying the things they used to. It can force someone to completely restructure their lives to mitigate the pain. Many find themselves isolated within their homes and unable to engage in normal life activities.

So, it's no wonder that conditions such as depression are common among those struggling with chronic pain. A person may also struggle with anxiety, anger, and grief. Another common condition affecting those with chronic pain is addiction. In particular opioid addiction is particularly high, as some opioids are commonly prescribed for pain management. Opioids are highly addictive, and addictions can develop even with the careful oversight of medical professionals.

It doesn't mean that everyone struggling with chronic pain is doomed to addiction and depression. These conditions are often the result of someone having to deal with their pain with no support or understanding. Some people allow their pain to worsen before they seek help, worried that their pain isn't “serious enough” to deserve treatment. It doesn't matter how severe a person's pain is. Pain itself is a serious condition that is worthy of help. By understanding and encouraging those we know who live with chronic pain, we can ensure that they get the treatment they need.

Treatment Options at Driftwood Recovery

The staff at Driftwood Recovery understand the role chronic pain plays in addiction and other mental health conditions. For that reason, clients have access to specialized professionals who understand and can treat pain. This is not a place where a client has to fear judgment. All pain can be treated, especially when a client is open to professional help.

The usual methods of conventional treatment are used to help manage various chronic pain conditions. Treatments such as a medication regimen, physical therapy, and occupational therapy can be expected. These treatments bring relief and increase mobility, allowing clients to perform normal daily tasks. Clients are also encouraged to exercise and participate in activities such as yoga to improve physical health. To ensure the comfort and safety of each client, these treatments are overseen by medical and highly trained professionals.

As Driftwood Recovery is a holistic treatment facility, care is also taken to address the client's mental health needs. Those requiring treatment for addiction or other mental health conditions will receive treatment for that alongside treatment for chronic pain. Through therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), clients can change harmful thought patterns into healthy ones. This therapy is also used to teach healthy coping skills that clients can use to cope with their chronic pain.

Clients who complete treatment then gain access to the alumni program. Sometimes, being around others who truly understand what you are going through is enough to change your outlook on life. With a robust peer support network, clients can receive support and encouragement as well as forge long-lasting friendships. So, in the end, pain is not an end-all condition. With proper treatment and support, anyone can learn how to manage their pain. They only need to find the courage to reach out for help.

Chronic pain is a condition that affects the body and the mind. Those who live with it must navigate their lives differently than others, which can cause stress and isolation. Chronic pain is one of the main factors behind conditions such as depression and addiction. It may seem like there's no end to the pain, but help can be found if a person is willing to ask for it. Here at Driftwood Recovery in Driftwood and Austin, Texas, clients receive comprehensive and compassionate treatment for their chronic pain and mental health conditions. If you are ready to take back your life from chronic pain, don't wait. Call Driftwood Recovery today at (512) 759-8330.