Though the reasons for their connection remain unclear, depression and physical pain are indeed closely related.
“Sometimes pain and depression create a vicious cycle in which pain worsens symptoms of depression, and then the resulting depression worsens feelings of pain,” says Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, MD.
Research has shown that pain can show up as musculoskeletal pain, cardiorespiratory pain and gastrointestinal pain. Studies have also found a link between bipolar depression and greater pain sensitivity.
And only recently has the association between depression and painful physical symptoms gained attention in medical circles.
That’s in part because researchers used to believe the relationship between pain, anxiety and depression was more psychological than biological, according to Harvard Medical School.
That line of thinking has been replaced with a drive to find out more about why depression and pain share neurotransmitters, hormones, stressors and more.
Harvard University researchers advise various psychotherapies—cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation training, hypnosis and exercise—on their own, or combined with medication to treat either the pain issue and/or mood disorder.
In a 2018 study, mood stabilizers were found to reduce daily chronic pain for Missouri University Psychiatric Center patients with bipolar.
We should leave the battle over which comes first—the depression or the pain—to researchers. What matters more than disentangling the two is realizing that pain in itself can be a trigger—and we need to be prepared to deal with what comes next.
For many, “pain and bipolar disorder seem to love traveling as a team,” says writer and activist Melody Moezzi. “And while I’ve yet to find a way to divorce the two, I have found myriad ways to cope with both.” Read more >>
November 14, 2018—In the first online survey of its kind, 62 percent of respondents reported using music as a sleep aid to block both internal and external impediments to a healthy night’s rest.
The survey showed that even those who don’t suffer from sleep disorders use music in their everyday lives to help improve the quality of their sleep experiences, and younger people with higher musical engagement are significantly more likely to use music to aid sleep.
The authors say the study offers new understanding into the complex motivations that drive people to reach for music as a sleep aid—and the reasons why so many find it effective. Read more >>
Do you ever wonder if your anger might be getting the best of you? Ask yourself these questions:
#1 Is the intensity level usually too high?
While we’re all subject to getting angry with a situation or a person if we’ve been wronged, for most it’s short-lived and the intensity does not border on rage. The longer you have anger and the higher the intensity level, the more (damage) it does to your stress system, and could serve to (destroy) friendships and relationships. Remember that mania can fuel anger so dealing with the mania is a priority. Read more >>
Enhanced primary care helps reduce ER visits October 1, 2020, CHAPEL HILL, NC—Integrating primary care services and behavioral health services appears to reduce emergency room visits among people with severe psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder, a new study suggests. American researchers, using the customary term “serious mental illness,” noted that individuals with such conditions...
Whether you live with bipolar or love someone who does, you can find comfort, wisdom, and strategies (maybe even a good laugh!) in these inspirational books. We can lose ourselves in the power of the written word, compelled by the raw emotions, deep insights, and humorous takes offered by others like us—people who share our...
On the one hand, characters with bipolar can demonstrate that treatment leads to stability. On the other, manic extremes make for better drama. “Surely there is someone out there who will take me for who I am: the good, the bad, the full story of love.” That’s award-winning actor Anne Hathaway as Lexi, prognosticating optimistically...
At-risk kids may have dysregulated coping mechanisms December 1, 2020, RIZE, Turkey—A new study has found distinct psychological features among children at high risk for bipolar disorder due to observable symptoms or family history. The Turkish study compared high-risk kids to children without risk factors. They found the high-risk kids were less likely to suppress...