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How can chronic pain affect your mental health?

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Chronic pain can interfere with your daily life, keeping you from doing things you want and need to do. It can take a toll on your self-esteem and make you feel angry, depressed, anxious, and frustrated. The link between your emotions and pain can create a cycle. When you hurt, you're more likely to feel depressed. That can make your pain even worse. The link between depression and pain is why doctors often use antidepressants as one treatment for chronic pain. These drugs can help with both the pain and the emotional strain it causes. Pain also interferes with sleep and raises your stress levels. Both a lack of sleep and more stress can make pain feel stronger.

From: Do I Have Chronic Pain? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Chronic Pain."

American Psychological Association: "Coping with chronic pain."

American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine: "Types of Chronic Pain."

Institute for Chronic Pain: "Understanding Chronic Pain."

Mayo Clinic: "Is there a link between pain and depression?"

Medscape: "Chronic Pain Syndrome Clinical Presentation."

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Chronic Pain."

Nemours Foundation: "Why Do I Have Pain?"

NIH Medline Plus: "Chronic Pain: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment."

The American Academy of Pain Medicine: "AAPM Facts and Figures on Pain."

UW Medicine: "Chronic Pain."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 23, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Chronic Pain."

American Psychological Association: "Coping with chronic pain."

American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine: "Types of Chronic Pain."

Institute for Chronic Pain: "Understanding Chronic Pain."

Mayo Clinic: "Is there a link between pain and depression?"

Medscape: "Chronic Pain Syndrome Clinical Presentation."

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Chronic Pain."

Nemours Foundation: "Why Do I Have Pain?"

NIH Medline Plus: "Chronic Pain: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment."

The American Academy of Pain Medicine: "AAPM Facts and Figures on Pain."

UW Medicine: "Chronic Pain."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 23, 2019

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How should you get help for chronic pain?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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