Mental Health Head highlighting chronic pain and mental health.

What is Mental Health?

Chronic pain and mental health are about identifying the root causes of our behaviors to help us find healthier ways to express our emotions. Sound mental health is an important facet of living with chronic conditions and building successful relationships within our communities.

Man holding neck undergoing chronic pain and depression/anxiety.
Two people smiling through chronic pain and depression support.

The Benefits

The impact of chronic pain on mental health and the impact of mental health on pain sensation is a vicious cycle. Living with daily pain is physically and emotionally taxing, and treatment is challenging when pain overlaps with anxiety or depression. The ideal pain management plan will be multifaceted, but caring for your mental health when living with a chronic condition can lead to the following benefits:

– Alleviated physical and emotional pain
– Aid the acceptance of condition and symptoms
– Improved sleep and reduce fatigue
– Increased energy
– Improved mood and reduce irritability
– Encouraged participation in social activities
– Improved concentration

The Science

The biological and neurological links between chronic pain and mental health cannot be overstated. Researchers found that those with chronic pain are four times more likely to have depression or anxiety than those who are pain-free, and 85% of patients with chronic pain are affected by severe depression. Due to pain and mobility issues, chronic conditions can limit daily activity and keep people from socializing, which leads to feelings of frustration, isolation, guilt and despair. Studies indicate that mental health treatments, such as talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, stress reduction techniques and pain rehabilitation programs, show promising results with chronic pain patients.

chronic back pain exercise

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“You cannot see it out there unless you see it within yourself.”

Sir David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.

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