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Chronic Pain And Depression


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This is a special thread where anyone suffering from both Depression/other mental illness along with chronic pain can: rant, vent, share information, share our stories, etc.

 

Chronic Pain can come from many different illnesses, including but not limited to: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout, Lupus, Psoriatic Arthritis, Migraine headaches, Fibromyalgia,

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (including the hypermobility type), Marfan Syndrome, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Heart Disease, Cancer, degenerative disc disease, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Insterstitial Cystitis... the list goes on and on.

 

As with mental illness, many (though certainly not all) conditions that cause chronic pain are invisible illnesses. People think you "look fine" or "seem fine", but on the inside it hurts like (insert bad word here). Dealing with chronic pain can exacerbate anxiety and depression, at least in my personal experience, and may bring on depression/anxiety in other patients.

 

Post away!

 

((Big Hugs))

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I have several chronic pain issues.  Migraines, Fibromyalgia, Herniated disc in my neck at C5-6, osteoarthritis of an ankle, both wrists and fingers.  It definitely affects my depression as when things aren't going well and the pain isn't controlled I think what my life is going to be like moving forward and I become more sad.  Chronic pain does, as LaurynJcat says "sucks donkey dong".

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I couldn't agree more with what Lauryn said. I'm a "new" sufferer of chronic pain and it's all consuming and I feel like it's infiltrated into every aspect of my life. It magnifies my depression and anxiety and i don't know how long time sufferers manage to say sane. Kudos to you all for fighting this fight. You are not alone.


 


I wrote this today because though I don't think I've ever been unkind to a chronic pain sufferer I know I was absolutely incapable of knowing how intense this can be.


 


I didn't know


 


I swear I didn’t mean to be insensitive


I hope what I said was not offensive


You see I had no compass to gauge the pain


To see that daily tasks can make you insane


I didn’t realize the strength it takes to maintain


A life that is filled with such intensity


In a world with no empathy


So if you will, please accept my deepest apologies


Because now I see with clarity


There are no words to describe how Chronic Pain


Can rob your life and self-esteem.


My wish for you in the break of day


To gather all your strength and find a way


To keep on fighting another day


Against this thief that remains to be seen


But wields a knife through a smokescreen


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Count me in too as I also have multiple chronic pain inducing conditions. Its funny as I was so disconnected from my body in the past that I couldnt really be aware of what was happening. Now awareness is a double edged sword. I manage my conditions better but there is less escape mentally. Thank goodness for Radical Acceptance and mindfulness. 

 

Much care to all who suffer, 

 

Freckleface, have you read The Spoon Analogy? 

Nice to see you around Callie.

Edited by Fizzle
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Count me in too as I also have multiple chronic pain inducing conditions. Its funny as I was so disconnected from my body in the past that I couldnt really be aware of what was happening. Now awareness is a double edged sword. I manage my conditions better but there is less escape mentally. Thank goodness for Radical Acceptance and mindfulness. 

 

Much care to all who suffer, 

 

Freckleface, have you read The Spoon Analogy? 

Nice to see you around Callie.

 

I read it yesterday, Fizzle. I can definitely relate. 

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I also have chronic pain, spinal disease,  IBS, headaches, migraines, pinched nerves etc. It is amazing how once you hurt constantly you are so sympathetic to others suffering. I don't my family has any idea how it is to hurt nonstop, and I am glad for them, I would never wish this on anyone, but can't they give me a bit of sympathy??

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Does anyone have any experience with supplements? Good, bad or indifferent?

 

Thanks in advance.  :hugs:

I freckledface,

Recently I discovered from one of my friend the supplement Flexoplex, I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, this supplement does wonders for me, attached is the link of the product. I used to take a similar product call Genacol, I took Genacol for a little bit more than a year. Now that I discovered Flexoplex ( being taking it for quite 3 months now ) I would recommend it to everyone who's suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, osteoporosis or any sort of bone or joint pain. it's not cheap but Yep! it's so... worth it.

https://www.flexoplex.com/flexoplex-ingredients.html

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I'm sorry to read so many of you are in chronic pain! :hugs: I am seeing a Geneticist in early October to confirm a (Hypermobile Type) Ehlers-Danlos syndrome diagnosis. I've suffered from widespread joint pain, thoracic spinal pain, joint instability, joint dislocations and partial dislocations, fatigue,daily headaches, easy bruising, etc for years now. It took a derpy Rheumatologist to note that all of the joints that hurt in my body are hypermobile (and unfortunately MANY are) to set me in the right direction.

 

 Most doctors have no idea what this is. As a result, I am in near-constant pain without prescription pain medication of any kind. EDS is a set of genetic disorders affecting connective tissues. My joints are not inflamed, and look "fine" on X-rays - just very loose. This makes it easy for doctors to treat me like I'm a hysterical woman who has no idea what she's talking about and send me on my way home to take OTC Tylenol "as needed." I am very careful about going to GPs, the Rheumatologist, or even the emergency room if I feel like the problem is related to joint hypermobility from EDS, because they are dismissive. Many EDS sufferers use a zebra as their mascot of sorts, because of an old medical school saying "If your hear hoof beats, look for horses. Not zebras." This logic makes a lot of sense, but unfortunately zebras exist too! I think things will be a lot easier once I see the Geneticist and she can refer me to "good" doctors.

 

Anyway, now that I've shared a little bit about EDS and what's going on, I look forward to posting in this thread a lot.

 

(((Big...but gentle...hugs to all)))

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Just stopping in to whine. Today is one of the "not-so-good" days in terms of pain. Every day is at least a little bit painful, but today it is intense and widespread: my wrists, fingers, spine, elbows, knees, ankles are screaming. Of course, still no pain relief, and waiting on my October 6th Geneticist appointment. I am going to write a letter to a GP who treats a friend of mine later, because he seems very warm and willing to learn about illnesses that many don't know about. Currently, he isn't accepting new patients, but I hope writing a letter explaining my circumstances might help my foot in the door when there is an opening.

 

 For now, nothing takes away the pain. My coping mechanism is to accept that it's there and go about my day, because there is no other option.

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I can not even imagine how you deal with pain in all those places. It hurts me to just think of it. Please come here to whine or write out your thoughts anytime. I do not understand how doctors think that they are helping someone when offering no sort of pain relief method. It just puzzles me to pieces.

 

I am glad you are going to write the letter. Have you tried to call and speak with his nurse and make your plea? A letter is good too though. Sending you the best of luck in hopes that he will accept you as a new patient.

 

You are much, much stronger than me.

 

(((really light squishy hugs)))

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I have a long history of depersonalisation derealisation and somatic dissociation symptoms. Does anyone else have a history of separating oneself from body and it having health consequences? The irony is that I think my dissociation disorder simultaneously helped me cope with long term pain both physical and psychological. Now I have to try to stay present and I am in a double bind. Being dissociated means I get into dangerous situations with people without realising it and medically it isnt helpful either. If Im present I function better and fear of the first keeps me here but now I am left to see the fear, emotional and physical pain for what it is.

 

And yet long term patterns of being separate from self means it often is totally counter intuitive to think to do anything to lessen the pain. Less than before but its still a problem. I seem to still rely on people telling me I should do something. Im not being a victim. It just doesnt occur to me. Much like standing next a burning curtain and not thinking to leave the room as i have done in the past. No connection between body and mind and free will. For me. For others a totally diifferent thing. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I’m currently picking up the pieces of my life. I am no longer able to work and rarely leave the house. I have been hospitalized several times and have seen a long list of specialists and therapists. Emotionally I’ve been diagnosed with depression, repression, post traumatic stress disorder, depersonalization, anxiety disorder, suicidal ideation, and an eating disorder. Physically I’ve been diagnosed with Failed Back Surgery, Disk Degeneration, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, chronic migraines, chronic insomnia, small vessel disease of the brain, inflammation of the brain, restless leg syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, Arthritis, Osteopenia, Chronic Adrenal Insufficiency, thalessemia, tinnitus, Musical Ear Syndrome, thyroid issues, and hormone imbalance, just to name a few of the things on the list. I get checked regularly for a re-occurrence of melanoma. Because of my unique combination of problems I was asked to be a part of a clinical research study being conducted through a large medical university.

I was a perfection driven woman. The onset of my chronic pain issues and PTSD symptoms emerged while I was working as an administrator for a large church. One morning I had an ugly breakdown on the church kitchen floor. In the months following my breakdown I thought that I had lost that perfection-driven woman forever. She had died a humiliating death as she unraveled into a sobbing, hysterical mess in front of a crowd of people. In the pathetic state that I am in today, I look back on that woman and curl up in pain because she is no longer with me. Oh, how I miss that woman. As I’ve begun the slow process of healing, I’ve realized she isn’t dead. She’s inside of me screaming to break out. She hates who she is and what she has become. She knows that she was able to climb out of a physically, sexually, and emotionally abusive childhood and make a good life for herself. She knows what she is capable of…she’s just having trouble figuring out how to climb back out of that pit.

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No pressure Neurotic lady but I hope the appointment with the geneticist went OK. 

 

No worries! It did, I got a formal diagnosis and have a few specialists that I need to go see now. I'm just waiting on her writing a letter to my PCP to notify him, because I'd like some form of pain management but he thinks the pain is "a part of my depression." UGHH!!! I'm laying on my heating pad now. I hope your pain hasn't been too bad :hugs:

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I have a long history of depersonalisation derealisation and somatic dissociation symptoms. Does anyone else have a history of separating oneself from body and it having health consequences? The irony is that I think my dissociation disorder simultaneously helped me cope with long term pain both physical and psychological. Now I have to try to stay present and I am in a double bind. Being dissociated means I get into dangerous situations with people without realising it and medically it isnt helpful either. If Im present I function better and fear of the first keeps me here but now I am left to see the fear, emotional and physical pain for what it is.

 

And yet long term patterns of being separate from self means it often is totally counter intuitive to think to do anything to lessen the pain. Less than before but its still a problem. I seem to still rely on people telling me I should do something. Im not being a victim. It just doesnt occur to me. Much like standing next a burning curtain and not thinking to leave the room as i have done in the past. No connection between body and mind and free will. For me. For others a totally diifferent thing. 

 

Fizzle ~ A few years ago when I was registered here under a different user name, a few of us got into a discussion about depersonalization. I went back and tried to find those posts, but I couldn't find them. I think you would have found them interesting, and possibly helpful. It was reassuring for me to discover other people who had this diagnosis and whose experiences with this disorder were similar to mine.

 

When I was first diagnosed with dissociation I was extremely reluctant to accept the diagnosis and even more reluctant to discuss it with my family and friends.  When people hear "dissociation" many of them immediately think of Sybil and her boatload of alternative personalities. They don't understand that it is a spectrum disorder. Depersonalization is on the opposite end of the spectrum from full blown dissociative identity disorder. I am still not comfortable discussing it with my family and friends because of the fear of being misunderstood because of the stigma involved.

 

During my college years when my anorexia was taking a firm hold and the pain of what was going on "in real life" was unbearable was when the depersonalization was at its worst. I would totally zone out. Many times I would be dragged back to reality by two friends repeating loudly over and over again, "WHERE ARE YOU?" They would always say that I "left them" and ask where I'd been. I didn't know at that time that my tendency to check myself out of an ongoing conversation and tune in to my own little world actually had a psychological name attached to it. My best friend once told me that I scared her during those times I zoned out. I don’t think I’m as obvious about it as I used to be.

 

When I became a parent it was essential for the safety of my children that I stay in the here and now and not let myself drift off to places unknown. It took strength, determination, and whole lot of self discipline to consciously "reel myself in" when I started to feel myself slipping away.. It wasn't easy. And I was never completely successful. I also realized that I compensated for giving up my dissociative mechanisms by delving deeper into other destructive behaviors. For example, I gave the anorexic dragon free reign in my life. All I ended up doing was exchanging one bad behavior for another. However, I proved to myself that when it was essential that I keep myself focused for the safety of my kids, I was able to keep my mind from fading off. That piece of knowledge about myself continues to help me decades later in having some control over the dissociative struggle.

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Thats great you received a formal diagnoses.  I hope you feel happy about that. Diagnoses are hard sometimes but they can potentially open doors. Especially when dealing with people that arent listening! Ughh!!! Didn't realise PCP was discounting the issue! Depression can cause a lot of pain but there is no confusing it with other stuff like this. I hope the heat helps.   :flowers: Hope they now also give you help to better manage this for you. 

 

 

Thank you!. Im a little better today in some respects after frantically phoning around trying to find a physio or sports massage person on Saturday/sunday. Went to someone not very good which helped a little but tonight not sure I am going to be able to work tomorrow. We shall see... tomorrow is another day. 

Edited by Fizzle
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Hi Raingviolets. 

 

Thanks for sharing. I think it can take a whole to motivate us to stay in the now when it has been a long standing habit it check out. I know I battle with it terribly and still do. Its only fear that keeps me fighting it.  Im glad you could do it for your children and hope you can do the rest with the ed some time. I understand how helping one type of coping often means we slip with another. Sorry too for all your are dealing with and suffered. I read the earlier post. I dont want to derail the thread too much but totally understand feeling like it is all on track and then dissolving in a heap;I dont think I will ever understand all aspects of trauma and how it can manifest. 

 

 Its funny how hard I find it to discuss anything to do with my dissociation since I too dont have DID. It doesnt have anything to do with wider opinions about it at this point. Its about a whole lot of stuff that comes before that. It feels deeply private and confusing. There are no words for so much of it. No language for something that feels so abstract. I can only imagine how complex it would be if there was more. The human brain is very creative. Take care of you. 

 

Some aspects of being more present are more simple to address and others I still find near impossible. I have to micromanage and pedantically do things that should be automatic. . 

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