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Yeah, we all know the pain of climbing those stairs, don’t we. Physical pain can be both a a cause and, at times, a symptom of mental illness. Yet all too often the doc just doesn’t get it. What’s up with that?? The doctors are very quick to diagnose and treat the various types of mental disease with drug specific regimes. And that’s ok. We need those pretty little pills to keep the chemicals in our gray matter balanced. We limp out of the clinic, Rx clutched tightly in hand, knowing they will help us along the road to recovery.
But what about the sore back, the stiff knees, the aching neck and the headaches and migraines? CTs, MRIs, x-rays … they all come back showing nothing wrong, nothing broken, therefore the pain is all in our head, right? So the good old doctor makes drug adjustments, dosages are changed, new anti-depressants are given and old ones taken away. And yet the pain just keeps getting worse.
Then starts the teeter-totter effect. More pain, less activity. Less activity, more stiffness and soreness. Like a hamster on a wheel, you just keep going around and around …
STOP GOING AROUND IN CIRCLES PEOPLE!!!! I had to be very persistent with my GP and the various “specialists” she sent me to see, but finally got her to understand the pain was real and needed aggressive treatment. That treatment was a combination of pain meds, reuptake inhibitors that target shared neurological pathways , physiotherapy and a healthy dose of support. It worked.
As the pain lessened, my mood began to change. As my mood changed, the pain decreased. Still on a wheel, I know, but at least now the wheel was turning with the cog instead of against it. The depression was lessening, my mood was better, I was more active, I once again became engaged with friends and family, I looked forward to being social instead of wanting to stay curled up in that basement.
Be persistent with your doctor about a pain management plan. For some reason doctors are reluctant to link pain and depression together. Without pain management the meds for a mental illness are unlikely to bring about even partial remission.
Educate yourself on the correlation between mental illness and physical pain, then have a talk with your doctor. Be pesky and don’t leave that office until you have a pain management plan in place.
With the correct medical approach, long term remission isn’t only possible, it is PROBABLE!!
Take control of your journey to recovery.