Living with injury and pain can be a tremendous burden on your life therefore I can understand why you might be feeling so fatigued and emotional. Research shows that depression is one of the most common psychological issues that people with chronic injury or pain face however at times this can go undiagnosed because of the focus on pain symptoms. When you have chronic pain and depression, the load is heavier. Depression tends to exacerbate pain and/or injury and can make it more difficult to cope with living through sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, low energy and motivation, and decreased physical activity. The impact of chronic pain on a person’s life can also feed depression for example through loss of exercise, sleep, withdrawal from social activity, and reduced ability to work.
Treatment ideally will address areas of your life affected by both the depression and chronic pain. The above responses have suggested helpful psychological strategies to deal with the depression and pain. From a psychological perspective, it is also important to examine how your pain and pain management strategies have forced you to constrain your life in some way and whether this is impacting on you living the way that you would like to live. Often attempts to avoid pain can cause more harm than good, to both your body and psychological wellbeing. Through learning to accept pain you can start to limit the control it has on your life. Mindfulness exercises can help you to develop a different relationship to pain, to move from pain being a huge preoccupation, to a simple experience. Developing cognitive awareness can help you step back from self-limiting beliefs and thought patterns. Clarifying your values can also help determine what is important to you and how you want to live your life so that you can take committed action and make choices that lead to a value-based life.
An experienced therapist would be able to help you explore these issues and I would be happy to discuss this with you further. You might also want to check out The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Approach to Living Fully with Chronic Pain by Joanne Dahl and Tobias Lundgren.
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