Chronic pain and depression often linked

Published: Updated:

Chronic pain is a major pain for millions of Americans. The CDC said it affects about 21% of adults.

Doctors said people who have chronic pain are also at higher risk for depression or anxiety.

Chronic pain and depression are among the most disabling conditions worldwide. Many people struggle with both.

“About half the people with depression have some pain symptoms, and about half the people with pain have some depression symptoms,” said Doctor Kurt Kroenke.

This can cause a vicious cycle. For example, people dealing with pain often don’t sleep well, which affects their mood and can make them vulnerable to depression or anxiety, which can then increase a person’s susceptibility to pain.

Kroenke said that when someone visits a doctor for chronic pain, it’s important for the patient to discuss any psychological symptoms they’re also experiencing.

“In particular, trouble sleeping, no energy, trouble concentrating,” he said.

Kroenke is the creator of several widely used questionnaires that help doctors easily measure the severity of pain, depression or anxiety.

“So, this is a way of saying, ‘Your blood pressure’s up, except your depression score is up,'” he said.

Kroenke said it’s important to identify and treat both to end the negative cycle.

When someone is dealing with both pain and depression, treating one can sometimes help lower the symptoms of the other.

In other cases, a combination of treatments might be needed.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.