Many Americans deal with some form of chronic pain, whether it be from an illness, persistent migraines, or circumstances that have yet to be determined. Living in pain can feel isolating and overwhelming at times, and it is natural to develop depression as a result. Once you find coping strategies that work for you specifically, you can overcome some elements of depression and feel more in control of your life. In this guide, we will focus on ways to manage depression with chronic pain.
Find or Create a Support Group
If you have chronic pain, there may be many occasions when you feel alone. You feel as though no one else understands the pain that you’re going through, and you will never feel relief. A support group can help you look at things from a more positive angle. At the very least, knowing that you have people around you who care about your life will minimize some of the isolating feelings.
Your support group does not have to consist of people with chronic pain. What matters is that you have people to talk to during a difficult time. If you are able to find a support group for people living with chronic pain, then you can benefit from talking to others who have had similar experiences. You can also share your experiences to help other people who might be going through a difficult time in their lives.
A pre-existing support group may already have weekly meetings scheduled and a consistent system that you can jump into. If you are creating your own support group though, think of people in your life that exude positivity and make you feel better even when you feel at your lowest. The group could be something as simple as a text message chain or a few people that you meet up with for lunch once a week. You can set up something that works for your lifestyle and still gives you access to support when you need it most.
Remember That When It Gets Bad, It Does Get Better
Chronic pain is often a roller coaster ride. The pain becomes severe, then tapers to moderate. It is always around, but sometimes it is more tolerable than others. If you are experiencing severe pain, remember that it will get better. You’ve made it through so much in your life. You’re strong enough to make it through this too.
Embrace the Things That Bring You Joy
Do you love to paint? Does scouring through books at the library bring you joy? Do you feel your happiest when you are in nature, at the beach, at a convention, or watching a movie with friends? Find what makes you happy – truly happy – and experience that as often as you can. Those moments of Joy will give you something to look back on during the bad times, and they will give you something to look forward to for the future.
Work with a Depression Therapist
A therapist can give you personalized advice that is specific to your situation. Your therapist will know the circumstances surrounding your depression, including your chronic pain, experiences from the past, stress levels, relationship conflicts, and more. With this information, he or she can come up with ideas suited for you. Having a therapist you can trust also gives you one more person in your support system, one more person that cares about your well-being. There is power in that, and it’s power you can use to fight through the tough moments in your life.
To schedule an appointment with the depression therapist or to learn more about depression treatment in Memphis, TN, contact MHR Memphis at (901) 682-6136.