Often when an individual suffers from chronic pain, they also experience symptoms of depression. Not only are you physically hurting, but often you begin to suffer mentally and emotionally as well, depleting your quality of life significantly and impacting your day to day life dramatically. Here are some tips to help you manage depression in chronic pain sufferers.
First, it is important that you talk to your doctor health care professional first. You need to inform them of your symptoms so that they are aware and in the loop regarding your medical concerns. Often, doctors may suggest prescribing an antidepressant. These are used in serious cases when necessary and can make a huge difference in the lives of depression sufferers. Some antidepressants such as Cymbalta can actually target the symptoms of depression as well as the symptoms of your chronic pain.
In addition or in lieu of prescription medications, you may also consider utilizing natural remedies as well. Some gentle exercises can help improve your mood and reduce your pain when done carefully, mindfully and intentionally. Always consult your doctor before starting any new fitness regimen and ask for his or her opinion. Gentle fitness options such as yoga classes, tai chi or even water aerobics are often fantastic for people with chronic pain. Moving your body helps to improve circulation for anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition, exercise releases endorphins in the body which are known to significantly improve mood by balancing out the chemicals in the brain.
Other natural remedies may include the use of herbs. Many people use fish oil because it contains omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are often very beneficial for depressions since they help to stabilize mood and they also possess anti-inflammatory benefits, which is perfect for those with bot depression and chronic pain. Hot peppers surprisingly have great benefits from chronic pain sufferers with depression. These peppers contain salicylates which are the base ingredient in aspirin. In addition, they have capsaicin which is known for its endorphin releasing benefits and its ability to block pain receptors in the body. Also look into other herbs like St. John’s Wort, Valerian root, bromelain and others to help your depression symptoms as an alternative to medications or in addition to prescriptions.
You may also consider counseling, therapy or even hypnosis. Therapy and counseling can help you to target your emotions and get to the source. These therapists can often provide you with tools and skills that will help you to deal with your depression responsibly and appropriately. Hypnosis is often used by many depression sufferers as well since it helps you to distract yourself and put your mind toward something else.
If you are living with chronic pain, looking for ways to deal with and manage depression symptoms, these tips can be extremely helpful. Always work in coordination with your healthcare professional. You may choose to use prescriptions to help with your symptoms and or a combination of alternative methods such as herbs, exercise, therapy, or even hypnosis. There are numerous options available if you are willing to try different things. For more information contact your doctor or local pain center such as the Hope Family of Pain Centers.