Pain makes it hard to work. It may limit your ability to do everyday activities, like folding laundry or washing dishes. Pain can also affect how socially involved you are at times.
Friends, family, and co-workers may need to over-compensate their ordinary share when you cannot do them because you’re in so much pain. You may even feel isolated.
Unwanted feelings like stress, frustration, and resentment often result from chronic pain. Even so, these feelings can worsen your chronic pain.
Mind & Body Relationship
Before diving into surprising ways chronic pain can affect your overall wellbeing, our readers need to understand the mind-body relationship.
The mind and bodywork in partnership; they cannot be detached.
Just as our body controls pain, our mind controls our attitudes and thoughts.
People tend to avoid physical and social emotions because of pain or the fear of pain itself. And over time, this can lead to weaker social relationships and less physical strength. It can also cause further lack of functioning and pain.
Do you feel sleepy all the time but can’t fall asleep? Perhaps if you fall asleep but can’t stay asleep. It might be stress-related fatigue.
It’s no surprise that stress due to chronic pain wreaks havoc on the body. For example, if you suffer from chronic back pain, you may find it stressful to get around like you once did. You might need to rely on friends to help you get jobs done (that you once could do by yourself).
Physical and emotional effects can happen, like increased blood pressure and heart rate, causing muscle tension. Things like these are hard on the body, leading to sleeping problems, changes in appetite, and fatigue.
Additionally, stress can lead to depression, anxiety, dependence on others, or substance abuse.
If you suffer from chronic pain, you may experience hopelessness or worthlessness. For example, you may not physically feel able to do chores around the house because of the pain. And when you don’t do the tasks, you may feel an excess of guilt. We understand that.
Depression is common among people with chronic pain in Texas. It’s important to understand that pain can cause depression or make existing depression seem worse. Even so, depression can make current pain worse.
Signs of depression:
- Frequent feelings of anger, hopelessness, worthlessness, or sadness
- Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Less energy
- Less interest in activities, or less pleasure from activities
- Thoughts about death, suicide, or hurting yourself
If you have a chronic condition, like arthritis, that causes pain, it can feel like your future is unsettled. Will you ever feel normal again? How will this affect my future? Will you ever be able to do the things you once loved again?
You are not alone. Many people manage anxiety caused by chronic pain every day. However, even after understanding the diagnosis, challenges still arise with the daily demands of living with chronic anxiety.
For example, say you work a desk job and suffer from chronic neck pain. You may feel anxious during work hours because your boss demands 8 hours a day of data entry. That time spent behind the computer puts further strain on your neck, but you know you must do so to pay bills. This cycle takes a toll on your overall well-being.
Some of the hardships anxiety creates caused by chronic pain:
- Feeling overwhelmed or unable to handle a situation
- Loss of mobility and/or debilitating experience pain leads to worry about loss of employment, safety, and finances.
- Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
- Being irritated
- Having a difficult time concentrating
If you are actively suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression caused by chronic pain, schedule an appointment with our pain experts. We want to help you get back to the life that you deserve. Call Progressive Pain & Interventional Psychiatry at (214) 242-6843 or fill out our contact form here. We can make recommendations based on the type of chronic pain you’re experiencing.