Blogger Widgets When My Life Becomes a Book: Can depression cause physical pain or discomfort?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Can depression cause physical pain or discomfort?

Can depression cause physical pain or discomfort?

Yes. Doctors who treat chronic pain and depression have known for many years how closely these two conditions are linked. Some research shows that pain and depression share common pathways in the emotional (limbic) region of the brain - which may, in part, explain their association.

Depression may increase your response to pain, or at least increase the suffering associated with pain. Conversely, chronic pain is stressful and depressing in itself. Sometimes the two create a vicious cycle. In addition, both chronic pain and depression are influenced by genetic and environmental factors as well.

Certain antidepressants may relieve pain in some people by reducing their pain perception, and improving their sleep and overall quality of life. A discussion with your doctor can help you sort out whether this option might be right for you