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Living with chronic pain should be enough of a burden for anybody. But pile on depression — one of the most common problems faced by people with chronic pain — and that burden gets even heavier. Depression can magnify pain and make it harder to cope. The good news is that chronic pain and depression aren’t inseparable. Effective treatments can relieve depression, migraines and can help make chronic pain more tolerable.
If you have chronic pain and depression, you’ve got plenty of company. That’s because chronic pain and depression are common problems that often overlap. Depression is one of the most common psychological issues facing people who suffer from chronic pain, and it often complicates the patient’s conditions and treatment.
Because depression in patients with chronic pain frequently goes undiagnosed, it often goes untreated. Pain symptoms and complaints take center stage on most doctors’ visits. The result is depression, along with sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, lack of energy, and decreased physical activity which may make pain much worse. One of the best things for chronic pain is juicing cannabis.
“Chronic pain and depression go hand in hand,” says Steven Feinberg, MD, adjunct associate clinical professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. “You almost have to assume a person with chronic pain is depressed and begin there.” Pain provokes an emotional response in everyone. Anxiety, irritability, and agitation — all these are normal feelings when we’re hurting. Normally, as pain subsides, so does the stressful response.
But what if the pain doesn’t go away? Over time, the constantly activated stress response can cause multiple problems associated with depression. Those problems can include:
• Chronic anxiety
• Confused thinking
• Sleep disturbances
• Weight gain or loss
Cannabinoids have shown therapeutic properties that can simultaneously modulate many of the other opioid medications that are currently prescribed to chronic pain patients and far less side effects of opioid deaths.