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Chronic Pain & Depression

Wondering if your pain caused your depression or vice versa? The answer is yes (sort of). Here’s the Mayo Clinic‘s take:

. . . Doctors who treat chronic pain and depression have known for many years how closely these two conditions are linked. Some research shows that pain and depression share common pathways in the emotional (limbic) region of the brain — which may, in part, explain their association.

Depression may increase your response to pain, or at least increase the suffering associated with pain. Conversely, chronic pain is stressful and depressing in itself. Sometimes the two create a vicious cycle. In addition, both chronic pain and depression are influenced by genetic and environmental factors as well.

Confused by doctors prescribing antidepressants even though you aren’t depressed? Again, from Mayo: “Certain antidepressants may relieve pain in some people by reducing their pain perception, and improving their sleep and overall quality of life.”

So there you have it.

Can you tell I’m tired? The night migraines are less painful and I’m sleeping a bit better, but my body is still dazed. I saw an acupuncturist Monday and will go back today, so maybe that will help. Much more on acupuncture later, when I can process and explain all that I’m learning.

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