link between protracted pain and depression

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  • Big news! Well hardly - it stands to reason, but I did not realise until the last two months when I've had severe and prolonged pain after a hernia operation, the extent of the connection. Those brave people who struggle through constant pain with a smile on their face have my complete respect! How do people do it?

  • I've found antidepressants have saved me from the deepest darkest recesses of my mind.

    There's no point in going to therapy, etc. I know why I'm depressed. Everything fucking hurts and I can't do the stuff I love. Talking about it wont stop the crap, so I pop the tablets and genuinely find they improve my life. The pain doesn't go away. It just matters less when I'm on the tablets.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • Hi stardust. I read that there is a direct connection between your ability to sense pain and your mood. A low mood, whether it's angry / frustrated or depressed / negative makes you very much more sensitive to pain, ie stubbing your toe, which seems to occur mostly when it's one of those days where everything goes wrong.
    I've had very unpleasant back pain for 35 years and succumbed to depression ten years into in. Now, the pain and the low moods are inextricably linked. My most effective pain control med is one that contains a mood elevator similar to opium - codeine - which really helps lift my mood, and which in turn makes me think the pain just substantially reduced. It fees almost miraculous.
    Just like you I don't think talking would do any more than irritate me, thus increasing my sensitivity to pain.
    Currently I'm one month into tapering off from an incredibly addictive anti-depressant. It will take 24 months and even then I don't know if this withdrawal will succeed or fail, but the side effects of the drug are so unpleasant that I have little choice but to try.
    I hope you're getting effective pain control from your meds. Makes you wonder how people got by before they had the help we're lucky enough to get.

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Thanks for all this. I have good painkillers (like diamorphine and tramadol) but am trying not to take them too much because I don't want to get too reliant on them. Then end up just taking paracetamol and sloping off to bed in the hope of extra sleep to quell the boredom and the irritation. So, yes, it's finding the balance between what you can tolerate and not being a zombie - and every day appears to be different.

  • I don't know how you tolerateTramadol but my own reaction to it was that it changed me temporarily from a good-natured (I hope!) person to a really unkind, stroppy piece of work. I have actually been close to violence on it, and verbally very ill-humoured - a diametric change in my demeanour. I ceased taking it completely as it can't possibly help pain reduction to be so very irritable.

    Anyway, who do you think you're looking at? Ha ha, only mucking about!

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.