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Is There a Link Between Depression, Pain, and Addiction?

addiction, depression

Many researchers have shown that there is a link between depression and pain, but does this link extend to addiction? Many people who suffer from depression also suffer from physical pain, although many times the physical pain is caused by psychological factors and there is nothing physically wrong with the individual to account for the pain that they feel. If the pain is caused by depression then prescription pain medications will not be very effective, and can cause the individual to end up with an addiction on top of the other issues that they have. If you have ever been depressed then you know even small aches and pains can seem much worse than they really are. The link between mental health problems and substance abuse is proven, and over time the urge to try and self medicate can lead to addiction.

If you suffer from depression then it s important to evaluate any pain that you have. This does not mean that the possibility of addiction should prevent someone from receiving necessary medical care and pain management, just that this should be done cautiously to prevent an addiction from occurring. Non narcotic medications and natural methods that do not involve drugs should be used unless a need for stronger pain relief is warranted. Exercise can be very effective at lifting depression and helping to relieve minor pain for many people. Patients who have pain but have no medical reason for the pain should be screened for depression before any prescription pain medication is given. .

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