How Chronic Pain Impacts Mental Health (and What to Do About It)

Aug 01, 2023
How Chronic Pain Impacts Mental Health (and What to Do About It)
Chronic pain causes more than physical symptoms — it takes a toll on your emotional health, too. Ketamine infusions offer potential relief for both pain and the mental health issues it can cause.

If you suffer from chronic pain, you have a lot of company. Recent data indicate that more than 50 million men and women — more than 20% of American adults — experience some type of pain every day or nearly every day. That same study found that those who suffer from chronic pain routinely find themselves limited in their ability to perform daily activities, including socializing with others and going to work — limitations that can quickly take a toll on a person’s emotional wellness.

At Revival Infusion Madison in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, Sarah Wilczewski, CRNA, APNP offers tailored therapies for patients with chronic pain, using an individualized approach focused on each person’s unique needs and goals. In this post, learn how your chronic pain could be affecting your mental health and how a chronic pain management plan can help.

Mental health effects of chronic pain

It’s easy to understand the physical impact of chronic pain, but the mental health impact can be just as great.

Emotional impact

Chronic pain is often accompanied by a flood of emotions, like frustration, anger, and sadness. Without meaningful relief, persistent physical discomfort can lead to feelings of hopelessness, especially when other pain management options have failed. 

At the same time, the physical and emotional effort of trying to live with pain day after day quickly drains energy reserves, leading to feelings of exhaustion and a low sense of self-esteem. Many people wind up feeling like a burden to themselves and to others.

Cognitive impact

The mental impact of chronic pain isn’t limited to your emotional well-being; it has cognitive effects, as well. Research shows that people with chronic pain routinely suffer from cognitive deficits, including problems with memory, attention, and reasoning. In turn, cognitive difficulties can cause emotional issues, like frustration, anxiety, and low self-esteem and self-confidence.

Sleep problems

Finally, if you have chronic pain, you know too well the impact it can have on your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Without adequate rest, your physical health suffers, but your mental health suffers, too. 

In fact, poor quality sleep makes it much more difficult to manage pain effectively, and it also diminishes your ability to cope with that pain. Over time, a lack of sleep can lead to a cycle of worsening pain, accompanied by irritability, moodiness, depression, and anxiety.

Social isolation

Because chronic pain limits your activities, it also takes a toll on your socialization with friends and loved ones. Not only do physical symptoms stand in the way of those activities, but the burden of managing chronic pain can make social activities seem overwhelming. 

Many people with chronic pain find it difficult to maintain relationships, leading to more isolation and feelings of depression and loneliness.

Ketamine and chronic pain management

Ketamine has a long history as a surgical anesthetic, but in recent years, research has focused on its use in pain management and as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), each of which can be associated with chronic pain.

Ketamine helps relieve chronic pain by blocking pain receptors and interfering with pain signaling to reduce the perception of pain. Plus, it stimulates production of a chemical called glutamate, a neurotransmitter that plays key roles in managing paindepression, and anxiety.

Administered intravenously, ketamine infusions deliver the medication directly to your bloodstream for maximum effects. Infusions take an hour or less, and they can be repeated as needed to keep symptoms under control. Most patients report relief after a single treatment.

Find relief for your chronic pain

Keatmine helps relieve chronic pain and its effects without relying on potentially dangerous doses of oral pain medicines. To learn more about ketamine and how it could help you, call 608-405-6824 or book an appointment online with the team at Revival Infusion Madison today.