Consistent pain that lasts 3 months or more is categorized as chronic pain, making it an incredibly common condition that many people deal with. Chronic pain can range from mild to severe, and its impacts may also vary.
While some people may find themselves unable to perform basic tasks due to it, others may be able to get by with various coping mechanisms. However, not all pain management techniques we adopt are safe or effective long-term, so it’s important to look into professional pain management treatment.
Before proceeding, it’s necessary to understand some of the impacts of chronic pain on mental health.
Those who experience chronic pain know all too well how it can impact their emotional state. Being in pain constantly or having it get worse suddenly can be jarring and difficult to cope with, and they both have similar outcomes on the nervous system. Chronic pain can affect mental health by making emotional regulation harder, causing heightened responses and other symptoms.
Chronic pain is also linked to conditions like depression and anxiety due to the compromised quality of life, the fear and stress of either experiencing or worsening the pain, and the withdrawal and isolation it can cause. It’s a complex relationship because the presence of depression and anxiety can trigger a physiological response, i.e., pain, and experiencing pain long-term can cause the onset of these mental health conditions.
Many would argue that addiction is a mental health issue, and to a great extent, that is true. Chronic pain may contribute to substance abuse problems and addiction for many vulnerable individuals who are either dependent on prescription painkillers and opioids or struggling with the many mental health impacts of chronic pain and using drugs to cope. The correlation between pain and substance abuse is quite strong, making it especially important to seek out healthy, long-term solutions.
Chronic pain can take over your life in more ways than one, but it’s possible to find help and solutions. We offer pain management treatment in Houston that aims to identify the cause of your pain and treat it for long-term relief. Find a specialist at our specialty hospital in North Houston, and schedule an appointment today!