Frequently Asked Questions About How Chronic Pain And Depression May Be Related

Having chronic pain can be a big hassle.  It does not only give you intolerable discomfort but may also ruin your concentration during the day. While several factors may cause this condition, chronic pain caused by persistent depression can be more difficult to manage.

But first, what is chronic pain, and how can depression make it worse?

Chronic pain is a feeling of pain or discomfort that may last for a prolonged period. Usually caused by unwanted injuries, chronic pain can start from one area to another. The pain can make the body more sensitive. And if it aggravates further, it can cause mood changes, uncontrollable stress, or even delayed mental and physical activity.

Consequently, these body sensations due to chronic stress can affect other aspects of life. It can affect your work performance, relationship with others and can even lead to emotional pains.


With depression, chronic pain becomes more aggravating. Treatment for chronic pain requires ample sleep and a balanced, well-timed diet. But all these can be undermined when someone has depression. This mental condition can make healing more complicated as it affects specific lifestyle choices fit for combating symptoms of chronic pain.

According to recent data from the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 75% of people with depression also manifest pain or uncomfortable sensation. These unpleasant feelings often include back pains and headaches. This data may root from the cyclic or two-way relationship between depression and chronic pain.

In general, chronic pain causes feelings of distress and agony or emotions of irritability and stress. And as negative emotions continue to pile up, it increases the tendency to develop mild depression.

At the same time, depression can also trigger unusual body pains and sometimes headaches. Studies say that these conditions involve similar brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. They also have the same nerve pathways both in the brain and in the spinal cord.

To date, there is still no clear association between the two. But medication to alleviate their symptoms is usually in conjunction with both conditions. Simply put, treatment for these conditions are medications that can work for both.

Other treatments may include lifestyle changes, diet plans, or recommendations for exercise and other physical activities. Therapies also play a significant role in mitigating the signs of depression.

If you want to know the specifics and treatment of chronic pain and how an untreated depression affects its current state, you can check out the FAQ below:

Can chronic pain be caused by depression?

One of the symptoms of depression is chronic pain that does not seem to have a physical source. A study published in 2017 has shown that 85 percent of patients experiencing chronic pains are also experiencing severe depression. These two occurrences can actually make each other more severe. So chronic pains make depression worse, and depression makes chronic pain worse too. Make sure you consult a doctor to avoid further complications and issues.

How does chronic pain affect mental health?

Studies have shown that chronic pain can be caused by mental health issues such as depression. Some studies have also shown that when chronic pain is present, there is a chance that mental illness is also present. These two directly affect each other, so chronic pains become severe with depression present and vice versa.

There is also something referred to as “chronic pain-induced depression,” where a person is also experiencing depression due to chronic pains.

How do you mentally deal with chronic pain?

There are a few different ways that a person can deal with chronic pain. However, this will still depend on the person and their level of sensitivity. Different people will have different sensitivity levels, which does not mean that one is wrong for feeling a certain way. It would help if you mentally prepared to understand and accept that you will need help for this. Find a balance within you and try to calm yourself so that you can cope healthily.

What is the best antidepressant for chronic pain?

Since people with chronic pain often get diagnosed with depression due to the pain that they are experiencing, there have been several different antidepressants that have been found effective for both chronic pains and depression. SNRIs such as Venlafaxine and Duloxetine can be quite effective in battling chronic pains. However, it is still best to consult a doctor to know what is best suited for you and your condition.


What does anxiety pain feel like?

Some different symptoms or signs can point you towards anxiety. This will usually feel like you will faint, chest pains will be present, and feeling quite dizzy. These chest pains will commonly be described as sharp and stabbing pains that will occur despite the person being still. You can also be experiencing shortness of breath and sweating and the feeling of fear that can become quite overwhelming.

Can chronic pain change your personality?

In a study published in New South Wales, it has been discovered that people experiencing chronic pain have low amounts of a brain chemical known as glutamate, which is responsible for regulating a person’s thoughts and emotions. The study also states that chronic pain can disrupt the communication between our brain cells which could effectively change a person’s personality by impairing their ability to process their emotions properly.

What are the long-term effects of chronic pain?

Based on research throughout the years, it has been found that chronic pains can actually affect a person’s mood. It can also cause a person to experience mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Chronic pains extended for long periods of time can also alter your brain’s structure. Chronic pain can reduce your brain’s grey matter, the area of your brain which controls learning, which can cause difficulty with learning, memory processing, and motor controls.

Our central nervous system can also change as we experience chronic pain for long periods, which means our brain becomes overly sensitive and overly reactive.

Can chronic pain make you crazy?

Chronic pain can make you “feel” crazy because chronic pain can release a chemical in our brain where it stimulates our nervous system because you do not know what to expect and that induces anxiety. Finally, the change can be stressful. These reasons can make you feel like you are going crazy, but no, chronic pain can make you feel that way; however, you are not going crazy. You may become depressed, or anxiety might start to settle in, but you will not go crazy.

What are the 4 types of pain?

The four main types of pain are Nociceptive pain which is usually a result of an injury in your tissues; there is also Inflammatory pain which is caused by an abnormal inflammation which is caused by the immune system’s inappropriate response—neuropathic pain or the pain that is caused by nerve irritations. Finally, we have Functional pain, which is basically pain that has no physical source, but it can still cause you pain.

How do you stay positive with chronic pain?

A person can deal with pain and emotions in different ways that would be ineffective for others but very effective. We all have different ways of coping and staying positive, and we can never invalidate how a person feels.

A few ways to stay positive even when you are experiencing chronic pain are trying to manage stress, staying active, make sure you get enough sleep, keep a journal to log your thoughts and feelings, be open with people you love, and make sure that you are getting the right support that you need.

What causes chronic pain all over the body?

Several different causes can be behind your chronic pain. There is, of course, the underlying reason of disease being behind your chronic pain—diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. However, persistent pain may also be caused by more serious illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, stomach ulcers, and more. Ensure that you can consult a doctor to determine your best treatment methods when you start to experience these chronic pains.

How can I relieve my whole body pain?

Multiple ways can be done to ensure that you are relieving your body of pain. Depending on where the pain is coming from, there are different methods that you could apply to make sure that you soothe your body from the pain. Make sure that you are rested; you can also take medications such as ibuprofen.

Another way is to try and ice the area where the pain originates, reducing the pain and inflammation. Other ways include eating more fiber, warm-up your joints, taking warm baths, and you can also try getting a massage if you feel like it.

Why does my whole body hurt after waking up?

According to scientists, we feel like our bodies hurt when we wake up because the natural ibuprofen that our body emits has not fully kicked in, or you might just not be using the right mattress. Maybe it is too stiff for your body to cause you issues to make your body feel like it is not rested. Overly exerting effort in the gym or training can also cause this pain.

Why am I always tired and have no energy?

Your body might not be getting the amount of rest that it requires. Our bodies need to rest for at least eight hours a day to restore the energy we lost throughout the day. Another reason is that we might not be eating the right amount of healthy food that our body needs. We need a perfect balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to be healthier and more energized.


Chronic pain and depression are treatable conditions with the right medication and early diagnosis. However, if left untreated, these conditions may affect daily life. These can also cause difficulties in coping with discomfort to interact with other people. Prolonged chronic pain can worsen depression. It can even lead to unwanted pains and suicidal tendencies.

If you are currently experiencing suicidal thoughts, please seek medical help immediately. You may reach out to your local emergency hotlines or call your trusted mental health professional.


Do not let chronic pain and depression take control of your life. Find legitimate healthcare providers that can give you the most accurate and urgent medical diagnosis. Do not subtend to what the online facts and websites say about what your condition might be. Hearing from a trusted medical practitioner is still your best choice in alleviating chronic pain and,  subsequently, depression.

You can always ask for a second opinion about your present condition. Often, chronic pain and depression can also be caused by other factors. By doing so can make you more sure about achieving wellness in no time.