Depression and anxiety are often symptomatic of living with chronic pain. Here, we explore ways to overcome them.
Research shows that around 30-50% of people living with chronic pain also suffer from depression or anxiety – sometimes even both. Living with chronic pain can have a huge emotional toll, with many sufferers feeling alone and overwhelmed. Therefore, it is important to try and use coping mechanisms that can help you to overcome your depression and anxiety whenever possible.
Gentle exercise is not only a great way to alleviate painful symptoms, it is also excellent for your mental health. Keeping the body active can help to lift your overall mood. Try some low impact activities, such as yoga or walking, if you’re new to exercise. Classes are also a good way to meet new people and socialise.
Those with depression and anxiety tend to withdraw from society. Try to maintain your relationships with friends and family, as feelings of loneliness can often make the situation worse. Even if it is just a catch up with a friend, social interaction can help lift your mood enormously.
Don’t turn to alcohol
No matter how depressed or anxious you feel, you should always avoid alcohol. Not only is alcohol a depressant, it is also known to aggravate symptoms, causing more pain and negative thoughts.
Keep a routine
Try to stick to an everyday routine as much as possible. Slipping out of your routine can disrupt your sleep cycle and your eating pattern, which can both have a negative effect on your mood. Try to meal plan ahead of time and make sure you get up at your usual time to remain motivated.
Writing a journal
For some, keeping a journal can be effective in managing depression. Keeping track of how you are feeling can help clear your mind and help you reflect on the more positive aspects of your day.
Here at Brian Barr, we are not medical experts. However, we do have considerable experience in supporting those with chronic pain conditions and are dedicated to helping those who are seeking advice for chronic conditions, which have occurred as a result of a no-fault accident or trauma.
If you would like further advice on living with chronic pain, check out our blog for hints, tips and news.