Depression and Chronic Pain

Written by: Dr. Carlos Luis Nebreda Clavo
Published: | Updated: 15/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Chronic pain is one that persists beyond the expected time for transmission (approximately three months). Unfortunately, due to the different degrees of pain and how they harm everyday life and mood of the patient, specialists in the United Pain say that depression is a staunch ally of the latter.

chronic pain

Depression and chronic pain, a binomial very recurrent

Depression may precede, accompany or jointly develop chronic pain. There are five scenarios that can be summarized into three:

  • Depression precedes the development of pain
  • Depression is a consequence of pain
  • The hypothesis Scar: previous depressive disorders to the onset of pain may predispose to suffer them when you see the same. This implies that a genetic condition of the patient in some stressful circumstances, such as pain or physical illness, can lead to a person suffering a depressive state. In depression we can find a lowering of mood, loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities, fatigue, etc.


How do the experts in chronic pain?

Experts in Pain Units indicate that classification manuals currently have no defined or contemplate different degrees of depression associated with chronic pain, therefore, it is necessary to conduct studies and statistical methods by which to define the differences between depression greater and depression associated with chronic pain.

Generally, units and specialists who treat chronic pain work together with psychologists and psychiatrists for addressing depression; however, they are aware that they should know and handle well antidepressant medication and the side effects that these may cause.


Psychological treatments for depression in chronic pain

Psychotherapy provides several options:

  • Individual therapy: includes comprehensive therapy, biofeedback, cognitive, behavioral and interpersonal.
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy

You need to take more time than usually required in consultation when the patient has a depressive frame, since in many cases, only patient enough to listen to it in a marked improvement.

As a last resort, the electro-convulsive therapy for those serious disorders that can not be controlled by medication and / or psychotherapy is. However, doctors recommend the patient to follow healthy habits, such as stop drinking, practicing good diet, run pleasurable activities, weight control and physical exercise.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Carlos Luis Nebreda Clavo
Pain Medicine

This doctor is part of the prestigious Institute Aliaga - Teknon Pain Clinic. After 20 years of experience is an expert anesthesiologist in pain. It has additional training in the United States and is the author of several books and articles on the subject.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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