The Emotional and Mental Impact of Chronic Pain

Slamming your finger in a door can certainly put you in a foul mood as the pain overwhelms your senses and emotions. Now stretch that experience out over months or years, and you can see why chronic pain is a multi-faceted problem that casts a wide net over your physical, emotional, and mental health.

While our team here at Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management excels in managing pain, we also understand that the actual pain can become only one piece in a much larger problem.

In the following, we take a look at the toll that chronic pain can take on your emotional and mental health and why professional help is important.

Your emotional response to pain

There’s little doubt that pain elicits any number of emotions, all of which are far from positive. From anger and fear to sadness and despair, your emotional responses to pain are fitting given the discomfort in which you find yourself. 

While these emotions are directly linked to the sensation of pain, let’s flesh out what happens when people struggle with chronic and debilitating pain. 

Of the 20% of adults in the United States who experience chronic pain, 8% report high-impact pain, which means the pain interferes with their lives in significant ways. From withdrawing socially to being unable to hold down a job, the impact that chronic pain can have on your life is extensive and only leads to an ever-increasing vicious cycle of negative thoughts and emotions.

Chronic pain and your mental health

The longer you struggle with chronic pain, the more stress your body is under, and this stress can take its toll. When you’re under stress, your body initiates a fight-or-flight response, which starts with the release of certain hormones, including adrenaline. These hormones place your body in a heightened state of alert, which is meant to help you when you’re confronted by danger.

This stress response, however, is meant to be fleeting. With chronic pain, your body spends far too much time in a stress response, which can alter the neurochemicals in your brain and nervous system. 

This shift in neurochemicals can lead to an imbalance that affects your moods, thoughts, and behaviors. In many cases, this leads to problems with depression and anxiety disorders. In fact, research demonstrates that those who are in chronic pain are four times more likely to develop depression or anxiety.

Resolving your pain to reclaim your emotional and mental health

If you’re trying to manage chronic pain, it’s best to have the right team in your corner. At our practice, we offer a wide range of pain management options that include:

Our goal is to help you find relief from your pain so that your neurochemicals can rebalance themselves for better emotional and mental health. Even if you’re dealing with an incurable condition, we work tirelessly to restore your quality of life.

If your chronic pain is impacting your emotional and mental health, we urge you to seek our help sooner rather than later. To get started, use online booking or contact one of our two offices in Hartsdale or Staten Island, New York.

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