Connection Between Pain and Emotions
Although pain does not necessarily put one’s life at risk, it does put one’s quality of life in jeopardy. Physical pain can be very difficult to deal with, however what is often overlooked is that the emotional effects of continued pain can be the most painful to bare.
Everyone deals with uncomfortable feelings differently, including pain. They might become angry and frustrated, isolate themselves, or develop depression.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, it has been clinically proven that pain sufferers are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, or both.
On top of that, there may be the feeling of guilt, lack of self-worth, and exaggerated emotional sensitivity, depending on the severity of the pain. Because of pain, feelings of helplessness, loss of control, guilt, and interference with normal daily activities can trigger mental and emotional health disorders.
Pain + Anxiety Disorders = A Bad Mix
Researchers have found that anxiety disorders and pain often combine together into a terrible mix of emotions. The emotional toll associated with living in pain may exacerbate conditions such as anxiety disorders and depression, and according to the National Institute of Mental Health, studies show that people with severe depression feel more intense pain.
Additionally, many studies are finding that inflammation may be linked between depression and anxiety. The link between inflammation and depression may be due to higher than normal levels of inflammatory proteins called cytokines that people with depression have in their body; thus, depression and pain can join together in a cycle, where one factor perpetuates the other.
Understandably, pain can lead to negative feelings, emotional sensitivity, and mental health disorders, but there are solutions that can help: support, a positive mindset, and keeping yourself busy.
Ways to Use Emotions to Cope With Pain
Try to Keep a Positive Mindset
Keeping a positive mindset can have a drastic impact on the quality of your daily life. In order to overcome the negative thoughts and emotional sensitivity that can come with pain, we have to embrace the philosophy of looking at the glass as half full.