Let’s Talk About Chronic Pain and Suicide

chronic pain suicideNew research presented at PAINWeek 2017 in Las Vegas suggested that individuals with chronic pain are twice as likely to attempt suicide than those without chronic pain.

For their study, researchers asked more than 1,500 chronic pain sufferers to fill out a questionnaire on their pain and their mental mindset. What they found was that individuals with chronic pain were twice as likely to attempt suicide than individuals without chronic pain, and that 32 percent of chronic pain sufferers reported “suicide ideation in some degree.”

According to researchers, chronic pain (as opposed to acute pain) may share some neural networks with mental health disorders like depression, which can contribute to self-harm tendencies.

“This shared neurobiology may explain why cognitive behavioral interventions can be effective in chronic pain patients,” said Dr. Joseph Pergolizzi, who suggested that patients with chronic pain should be evaluated for other helpful treatments, like cognitive behavioral therapy or mental health counseling. They recommended that mental health assessments during the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain could be clinically important for reducing the risk of suicide or self-harm in this patient population.

Getting The Help You Need

As someone who is prone to chronic back pain from an injury I suffered back in college, I know how frustrating chronic pain management can be. It can take forever to find a solution that works, and there’s no guarantee that it will work the next day. You’re fighting an uphill battle, but it’s important that you try to stay positive. Remember that you can only control what you can control. You can’t always control your pain, but you can:

  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Partake in physical therapy
  • Seek a second opinion
  • Get involved a chronic pain group
  • Try new treatment alternatives
  • Share your experiences with others online
  • Take time to focus on your mental and physical health

Pain may play a role in your life, but you should never feel like it is controlling your life. If you’ve found that it’s harder to get out of bed or you just haven’t been the same lately, reach out to a Pain Management specialist. We can take another look at your pain and figure out the best way to help you manage it. We can also set you up with wonderful programs to ensure that your mental health remains positive while you’re tackling your chronic pain issue.

Nobody knows exactly what you’re going through, but that doesn’t mean we’re not willing to learn or to help. Please, if you’re struggling with chronic pain or depression, make a call to our office or to a pain specialist in your area. We’ll do everything in our power to help reduce you pain levels and find something that works for you. We can’t promise solutions, but we can promise that we will try our hardest to find a treatment option that makes your day a little brighter. Contact us today.

Chronic Pain and Depression

Chronic Pain DepressionThe majority of people will deal with chronic or nagging pain at some point in their life, and new estimates suggest that 1 in 10 adults will be diagnosed with chronic pain every year. Even though these numbers are really high, as a society, we’re not doing a very good job of solving the problem of chronic pain.

Even when chronic pain is managed and controlled, it can lead to other issues. When you’re constantly dealing with physical pain, it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting, and the same can be said in the inverse. If you aren’t in the right mindset, it can be difficult to stay active and really work towards preventing chronic pain.

Recently, a new study decided to take a closer look at the connection between chronic pain and mental health – more specifically, depression and chronic pain. For their study, researchers out of the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom examined physical and mental health assessments of more than 100,000 individuals.

Depression and Pain

After looking at the findings, researchers uncovered:

  • People who have partners with depression were more likely to experience chronic pain.
  • A person whose spouse was depressed had an 18.7 percent increased risk of suffering from chronic pain.
  • Also of note, having a parent with chronic pain increased a person’s likelihood of developing chronic pain by 38.4 percent.

“We hope our research will encourage people to think about the relationship between chronic pain and depression and whether physical and mental illnesses are as separate as some believe,” researchers wrote.

At the end of the day, this research shines a little more light on another potential avenue for chronic pain management. Sometimes we need to go beyond the root source of the pain and look at environmental and other contributing factors. If we can improve our mental health and the mental mindset of those around us, we might be able to reduce the number of people who have to battle chronic pain on a daily basis.