Psychology (getting depressed) and pain

Posted , 4 users are following.

Dear fellow sufferers!

I would love us to share some knowledge that has helped you psychologically. 

I have been suffering with herniated discs for the last 4 months...

I am unable to work... 

And my question is.. How do you stay away from despair and depression

I read multiple studies about link between depression and back pain. And I do not want to underestimate it... 

I do feel mildly depressed time to time. For example when there is a flare up. 

So many negative emotions... 

Fear (of chairs, prolonged sitting or standing or walking, of my future and health)

Anger (that I am in pain and can not function as before)

Guilt (that I made it worse, I am not strong enough...)

Sadness (no meaning of my life)

Unceratinity about how I will feel.

Sometimes I can go few weeks without crying and then I cry few days in a row.

I went to see psychologist and the sessions did help me. But I guess I need more and go again? 

Chronic back pain is enough I dont want to add depression. 

Is there any advice? 

Books? 

How to accept the pain and inability and still find some happiness in you r lifes? 

I will be so thankful for your thoughts, ideas and experiences. 

Plus I read that antidepressants some of them, actually healed the chronic pain itself? Any success story on that? 

I am sending love and support to each and every one of you. I could never imagined how does it feel ... 

Tak care guys. 

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Have you been to the pain clinic if not I would advise you to ask your gp to send you. You will get lots of help with pain meds and treatments.eg pain blocks. They also do a course on coping with pain I recomend.

    Having been attending pain clinic for sometime now unfortunately I could get relief from pain meds.I have had surgery twice but no relief

    so I have a nerve stimulator fitted in my back .it's been the best thing for me to relieve pain.

    You should try to get more help from your gp.

    I have been in the same place you have and it's not very nice.

    Have you tried a tens machine they are great but get the right one lots on the market.

    Some physios tell you to do more exercise I found rest and relaxation helpful.

    I found a hobby card craft helps take my mine off pain.

    I have no medical qualifications only experience.hope you find so relief soon......Holly

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    • Posted

      Dear Holly,

      thank you so much for your insight and kind words! 

      I do think that trying to avoid any pain meds (as I have this feeling they are not solution to my problem) adds pressure on my psychological weel being. 

      It is so nice to hear you have a hobby that makes you happy. I need to find something like that! Unfortunately I am not really patient or talented with my hands... 

      So far I find pleasure in scrabble :D

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  • Posted

    Hi, I can so relate to all of the feelings and emotions of chronic pain.

    I have had problems since an epidural went wrong almost 25 years ago.

    I've had a fusion of l4 and l5, ss1 and also have a spinal cord stimulator for nerve pain.

    I was managing ok until last July when I had the most horrific spasms in my back.

    I was signed off from my part time working from home job and had to leave in October.

    I went through a really bad but of depression as there seems to be no real answer to my pain

    I have arthritis in all of the discs and bone spurs forming on some of the facet joints. I can now not sit down without pain and spasms,

    I can't stand or walk too long. I have given up almost everything we used to do.the pain clinic do what they can but they are not miracle workers. I am at the stage where I have accepted that I can't work unless I work for myself.

    Now I have set up my own handmade personalised greetings cards which gives me great pleasure and I can make them lying down.

    You just have to revulate what is important with your life and learn what you can and can't do and pace yourself according to how you feel. My cards keep my mind busy but my body resting. I hope you find some answers my friend.

    Lori x

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    • Posted

      Dear Lori!

      Was th epidural part of giving birth? It sounds really scary. I have never talked to anyone who actually suffered from the risks it brings... 

      I am worried of my reproductive health even more when I hear you story. 

      As I am obviously not really good in coping with pain I have always dreamt of using epidural but now I am thinking of reconsidering....

      It is so smart what you said: I cant work unless I work for myself. Exactly. I was kinda thinking the same. That it at least for me adds the stress and pressure of bosses and clients waiting for me... 

      I wish you all the best. 

      Have you tried some forms of psychotherapy or meditation? I am wondering if I should try them. 

      Congratulations that you managed to break away from the depressed stage. 

      ps what was the reason the horriffic spasms started? Was it movement? Stress? Nothing at all?

      I am sending lots of support

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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    I have been living with 3 bulging discs, muscle spasm and assocaited nerve pain in my hips and legs for last 9 years. I have been going to Pain Clinic for 8 if these years, some of the things work for some and not for others....from a psychological standpoint I have been on a BreathWorks course ( 8 week course on Mindfullness and chronic pain, and meditation taught etc ) - was probably one of the best courses I have been on and I paid myself, they do watered down versions on the NHS but I never really got along with these too well. I have over the years worked my way up the pain killer lader and now live on slow release morphine, and muslce relaxants, the flare ups are getting harder to treat as obv. I am buidling up some tolerance over the years. I managed 7 years of pain before ending up on an antidperessant ! Pain clinics have longish wait lists so get your name down !, for some people in early days steroid epidural injections done under X-ray help ( in day surgery, only in a few hrs ) and can last up to 1 year. The trick is that whilst benefiting from the injections to get physio / strenghthen your core muscles / inc your activity as the injections themsleves are not a solution. I have always been told  am not a good candidate for surgery, I have also had radiofrequency ablation of my nerve ending done ( sciatic and SI nerves ) but they grew back eventually ! I looked into having an epidural stimulator fitted but once again I am not the best of candidates for this either and the chance of pain relief was low for me for what is a big procedure. 

    I have two teenagers now, that mean I have to stay rooted as much as possible. my husband works full time, so I just have to get by somehow.....

    I read lots on my Kindle ( back lit ) as nothing worse in night as being in pain and wide awake so I read a lot of novels, I took up photography as a hobby ( I used to work 60 plus hrs a week in pharmaceutical industry ) so I was immensely bored and frustrated and low self esteem etc etc......I still don't do winter very well at all !! I don't have ''the answer'', but the Breathworks Mindfullness course is def. worth a look, beware some emdications as I have noted in prev. posts on  here I have suffered memeory loss off some nerve pain meds, ....there is some evidence that ''certain'' antidperessants may have a role in pain management, beware amitryptline - works at low dose for some but is a very old TCAD, I personally could not tlerate side effects of it at 10mg, for it to have an effect on mood must be used at least 10 times this dose !! wasn't for me. 

    I got a dog ! ok - I wanted one before as I grew up with a dog and I worked too many hrs, she's 9 now, I have teens to help exercise her now, but she's a good pal and was a good way of getting me out more in early years. 

    Some people find they stabilize, others don't....not knowing if you are male or female, but I can honestly say two babies and labour ( breathing techniques ) help when a big flare up as no amount of screaming does !! as just tightens the muscles even more. 

    I still use charcoal activated heat pads if need to go a long journey , etc and find heat helpful in general. Some prefer cold. 

    I have found some physios over the years to be useful and nice, others less so, all depedns on the timing and sometimes personalities.

    Take Care...you can try a TENS machine, I didn't get any relief from it but neither did I when in labour so no big surpirse there !!

    When have a flare up rest a while, then you need to try and keep mobile, even if intermittent, try not too put on weight ( or lose some ), swimming is good ( not breast stroke though ) and pilates and aqua aerobics begginners sessions are good for strengthening core muscles as water supports you, I lost weoght and strengthened my core doing these, and endorphins released from exercise make you feel better too ! 

    Good luck x

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    • Posted

      Dear HOLLY,

      thank you so much for all your thoughts and advice. Wau. You have been through lot. It is amazing you have a family to help you through. I will definetly do some research on what you suggested. I wish you all the best

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