Living with chronic pain is a burden. 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 and can help make chronic pain more tolerable.
Genes: Your chance of having a bout of depression is greater if other family members have had depression. You may have inherited a trait that makes you more likely to get depressed. If this is true for you, a stressful life event is more likely to trigger depression.
Thinking styles: How you think can affect how you feel. You may be more likely to become depressed if you tend to:
Think in extremes. For example, thinking, "If I can't do something perfectly, I might as well quit."
Concentrate on your weaknesses and ignore your strengths.
Take things personally that have little or nothing to do with you. For example, if your boss has a stern look on his or her face, you think "My boss must be mad at me, because he (or she) is not smiling."
Pay attention to the dark side of things, or exaggerate the chances of a bad outcome. For example, thinking "If I make a mistake, I will be fired from my job."
Life events: Stressful life events can trigger depression. For example, you could become depressed if you have: