The Link Between Chronic Pain and Depression

Oct 01, 2023
The Link Between Chronic Pain and Depression
Chronic pain and depression are both extremely common — and as it turns out, they often occur together. Here’s how these two conditions are linked and how ketamine infusion can help break the cycle.

Nearly 15 million American adults suffer from depression every year, and more than 50 million deal with chronic pain symptoms. Only recently have researchers begun to understand the complex relationship between these two common disorders, seeking for therapies that can help patients relieve their symptoms and lead happier, healthier lives.

As a certified registered nurse anesthetist with significant experience in ketamine therapies, Sarah Wilczewski, CRNA, APNP helps patients at Revival Infusion Madison relieve symptoms of both depression and chronic pain with ketamine infusion therapy customized for their needs. If you suffer from chronic pain, depression, or both, here’s what you should know about the link between these two common conditions.

Chronic pain and depression: A bidirectional link

There’s no doubt that chronic pain and depression can occur on their own. But there’s also no doubt that each of these issues can make the other one feel worse: Chronic pain can make it harder to deal with depression, and depression can interfere with your ability to handle pain.

Debilitating pain can make you less active, resulting in isolation and loneliness. These feelings, in turn, can increase depression, which can also cause you to withdraw from socialization. And both conditions affect how well you can cope with, and adapt to, day-to-day stressors at work, at home, and in your relationships.

But the link between these two serious problems goes beyond our perceptions of pain and depression. Researchers say there’s a neurological connection involving specific areas of the brain involved in both pain and depression. Specifically, both conditions involve changes in the same brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), and both conditions affect your brain’s ability to adapt (neuroplasticity).

How ketamine can help

Ketamine works on specific receptors in the brain that play a pivotal role in both mood regulation and pain perception. By altering how these receptors respond and react, ketamine directly disrupts the processes that underpin both of these conditions, helping break the link between depression and pain, while also relieving your symptoms.

At the same time, ketamine has been shown to improve neuroplasticity, helping your brain form new nerve pathways for better communication. These new pathways help your brain adapt better, “erasing” old patterns and promoting optimal brain function.

Perhaps best of all, ketamine works quickly. Many patients notice a near-immediate improvement in their symptoms, and treatments can be repeated to extend those effects. Ketamine can also be used alongside other treatments to improve their overall effects.

Take control of your healthy future

Ketamine is often effective where other therapies have failed, offering significant improvements for people gripped by depression and chronic pain. That means if you’ve tried therapy, medication, and other treatments without success, ketamine could be the solution you’re looking for.

To learn more about ketamine infusions and how they could help you find relief from chronic pain and depression, call 608-405-6824 or book an appointment online at Revival Infusion Madison in Fitchburg, Wisconsin today.