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Chronic Pain and Mental Health: Addressing the Connections

Chronic pain is more than the pain you feel bodily. It affects you physically, mentally, and emotionally. You can’t stop at addressing only the physical limitations it may place on you because that will not treat everything that is impacting your quality of life. That is why September has been designated as Pain Awareness Month. Its goal is to raise awareness and understanding around chronic pain and the toll it takes on the overall health of those who deal with it. 

There is a way to get at pain from all directions. It is called the biopsychosocial approach. This means that your pain management treatment will include more than surface-level goals. It will help you make the connections between brain and body so that you can use the power of pain management and the power of your own mind to work on your pain. How can you decipher if your current pain treatment has everything you need? Here are some ways to make sure you are addressing every part of your pain, physical and emotional. 

Mental Health Screening

Mental health concerns can be trickier to evaluate simply because they’re invisible. According to Mental Health America, “Research shows that those with chronic pain are four times more likely to have depression or anxiety than those who are pain-free.” That is why screening can be so crucial for early detection and treatment. 

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy, which is sometimes called psychotherapy, comes in a few different forms, but all styles have something in common. They give you somewhere safe to share and someone safe to share with. The point is to talk through what is causing you distress. The therapist can take a number of approaches with how to help you, but the ultimate goal is always to give you tools to work through that stress and cope with it. Talk therapy can also help to diagnose any underlying mental health problems, like depression and anxiety. 

Pain Rehabilitation Programs

Pain rehabilitation programs are an embodiment of the biopsychosocial approach. They are intended to work through some of your physical limitations and also to help you learn and apply coping skills for your chronic pain. These programs are designed to be done in groups, so if the idea of one-on-one therapy is daunting, this could be a good place to start. You will also get to see others who have gone through and are currently going through similar experiences to yours. An extension of these programs is general group therapy, which is another great way to build bonds and create disciplined practices to improve your quality of life. 

Choose the Right Doctor

Part of getting the treatment you deserve is finding the doctor you deserve. The right pain management doctor will already understand that you need more than a physical treatment plan if you are suffering from acute chronic pain. If you are not currently receiving any mental health services, then it’s a good idea to start asking your doctor questions about getting a screening or asking if their practice includes any mental health services. 

If you are looking for pain management in Indianapolis or the surrounding areas, then you may want to consider Center for Pain Management. Our team of expertly trained physicians includes a psychologist because we feel a biopsychosocial approach is what will best serve our patients. Maybe this Pain Awareness Month will be the time for you to self-advocate and learn more about moving past chronic pain. When you’re ready to get more out of your pain management program, then call Center for Pain Management at 317-706-7246 to schedule an appointment.

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