The Mind-Body Connection: Depression And Pain

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Depression is a mood disorder which impacts mind, body, and spirit. Symptoms of all three areas are prevalent in depression and can cause someone to feel as though they are out of control in their lives. Physical pain is a common accompaniment to depression. Aches, pains, muscle fatigue, and exhaustion are all common. The depressed body feels low in energy and mirrors pain being experienced in mind and spirit. Hopelessness, pessimism, fear, melancholy, detachment and emptiness can be felt as much physically as they are both mentally, as well as spiritually. Psychosomatization is not uncommon with mood and personality disorders, especially depression. Somatizing congested emotions which have not been confronted and processed can lead to physical pain, which only increases the difficulty of the experience of living with depression.

Psychiatry Advisor cites new research which has found that physical pain is more common for those who are living with depression. This combination of symptoms has a greater affect than physical and emotional pain. “…those with both depression and pain are more likely to have cognitive impairment,” the article explains. The findings of the new research “…provide evidence to screen for pain in those with depression and cognitive impairment,” and emphasizes that “…effectively treating pain in these populations may increase cognitive and functional outcomes.”

Screening for physical pain in a diagnosis which is known for providing someone with emotional pain, might be the answer to effective recovery. Cognitive impairments can last beyond treatment if they are not properly assessed and confronted. Cognitive functions are the functions within the brain which helps humans make decisions, make judgments, and perform almost every executive action they have. Importantly, cognition is what helps humans make meaning in their lives by assimilating information and transforming it into knowledge. Treatment for mood disorders often falls short when cognitive impairments get in the way. With an impaired ability to make sense of incoming information, all of the efforts of treatment become ineffective. Too often, this is blamed on the individual with accusations of being unwilling or not committed to recovery. Exacerbating an already exhausting amount of shame and stigma, too many clients give up on themselves and their recovery because they aren’t “getting it.”

Screening for physical pain in depression could be an answer to interrupting and remedying cognitive impairments, leading to a successful and effective recovery. Treating mind, body, and spirit, stems beyond physical and emotional pain but has a significant effect on the entire brain chemistry.

Avalon Malibu believes that holistic healing is the answer to trusted results in recovery. Our programs for mental health are some of California’s only certified primary treatment programs. For a confidential assessment and more information on our residential treatment programs for depression, call 1 888-958-7511.

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