Depression and chronic pain

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 12/6/2008 5:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

As I am only new to this forum this subject may have been do before, but I think it is worth bring up with a little twist. One of things I have noticed in most of the posts is people saying to keep a positive mind and ‘YES’ I believe that our mind can play a big part or our recovery and day to day living.

Here is an exert from a web site

Depression is more commonly seen in patients with chronic back pain problems than in patients with pain that is of an acute, short-term nature. How does depression develop in these cases? This can be understood by looking at the host of symptoms often experienced by the person with chronic back pain or other spine-related pain.

• The pain often makes it difficult to sleep, leading to fatigue and irritability during the day.

• Then, during the day, because patients with back pain have difficulty with most movement they often move slowly and carefully, spending most of their time at home away from others. This leads to social isolation and a lack of enjoyable activities.

• Due to the inability to work, there may also be financial difficulties that begin to impact the entire family.

• Beyond the pain itself, there may be gastrointestinal distress caused by anti-inflammatory medication and a general feeling of mental dullness from the pain medications.

• The pain is distracting, leading to memory and concentration difficulties.

• Sexual activity is often the last thing on the person’s mind and this causes more stress in the patient’s relationships.

Understandably, these symptoms accompanying chronic back pain or neck pain may lead to feelings of despair, hopelessness and other symptoms of a major depression or clinical depression.

A recent study by Strunin and Boden (2004) investigated the family consequences of chronic back pain. Patients reported a wide range of limitations on family and social roles including: physical limitation that hampered patients’ ability to do household chores, take care of the children, and engage in leisure activities with their spouses. Spouses and children often took over family responsibilities once carried out by the individual with back pain. These changes in the family often led to depression and anger among the back pain patients and to stress and strain in family relationships.

Here is the link if you would like to read the full article.

I try to keep a positive outlook all the time and yes it can be very hard not only on me but my whole family especially when I first did my back injury and could not walk and my wife was 7 months pregnant with our third.

I now know due to where I live and the travelling and work I have done in the past, I am not going to be able to return to my old career due to my back injury even if surgery is 100% successful and instead of getting down about it over the last 18 months I have been looking into start another company (i.e. business plan, Demographics, Suppliers, ect) close to home with work I know I will be able to do. Mainly to keep my mind off the injury and thinking of other things in the beginning but now I am looking at opening it after me surgery.

What I think would be a good discussion is to know what you do to keep the blues away. I think this will not only help the people that are good at keep things positive but also may help give ideas to others that are not so good at keeping the blues away.

Let us know what you think.


Pete trips again!
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 12/6/2008 9:43 AM (GMT -6)   


Great post brother! I have had back & neck problems due to major auto & motor cycle crashes long ago when I was living  the "Just say Yes" Gerneration lifestyle and am paying big time for my stupidity back then. As you can see by the bottom of my post, I am a regular on the prostate cancer forum but cross over often although I only ocasionally post. I've beed a long term CP'er and find help in the words of others on this forum. I recognize the list you have posted like it were written about me as I'm sure so many other here do and not just "back pain" but a host of other eflictions suffered by this group. I hope I don't offend anyone her by what I'm about to write but I knotice a different attitude in the posts on this forum than my pc page. People here tend to be more on edge and likely to strike out at someone if they are questioned about their postings. I realize that these two forums are a world apart and can understand the crankyness of someone in pain, ask my wife!! It's just a feeling of family on the pc forum that I really wish were here. I know some of you long time posters will say "how can he acuse us of anything, he's never even here posting" But I am here reading almost every day and I do apologize for not posting more often. All I'm really trying to say is before you feel you have to lash out at someone, try to think about the other person and know that he/she may be in as much or more pain than you. Sorry for highjacking your post David, I tend to ramble. One of my many shortcomings. I should have started a new post but now I don't have enough time so again sorry!!!! Bless all my friends here and everywhere in this Holliday Season and always.

Your friend,


55 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg. 3 1/2 years of depression after surgery prior to Hypogonadizm DX, Testosterone Theropy (Testim Gel)since 12/06 but switched to a higher dose of (Androgel) 6/08. Fighting to stay upbeat daily. I am's what I am's and that's all that I am's! (Popeye)  55 and still alive!!! Feel free to pray for me, I can use all the help I can get!!!

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 12/6/2008 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Best Distractions for me:

1) Computer. Complaining on the boards is a favorite topic of mine. I find out others are
like me! I rarely talk about pain outside the forum or chat room.
2) Painting: I paint intricate mirror frames. Easy stuff but it's so darn hard for me to get
my pain brushes, etc all together.
3) Grandaughters 2 & 4: What can I say! With them I'm in the moment.
4) Books on tape. I put these on so I don't have to think about pain.
5) T.V. Oh how I love it. I try to stay away from it though.
6) Music: Every now and then I sing and dance to recall the old daze. : - D
7) Husband: After 38 years together we're still best friends and more! I married him when
I was four years old.
8) e-mailing daughter who lives two blocks away. We are really funny together. I want
her to write a non-fiction book about raising two little girls. (I don't mean I don't see her!)
9) Trying to make life better for other people.
10) Shower in the morning with Fendi mixed in with my non-scented lotion.
11) Christmas lights that blink.
12) Brushing my teeth: The hygenist said I must do a really good job or I will have gum
problems ... so I brush and brush, scrape my tongue (very lightly), floss, water pick, etc/
13) Dream about going to San Francisco and staying in a high rise hotel like I used to.
Never thought anything about it at the time when I was pain free. Now ... Oh I'd love to
14) Writing lists of what distracts me.

Osteoarthritis all levels of spine right down to Coccyx,Spondilytis,Myofascial Pain
Fibromyalgia,Bulging Discs,Spinal Stenosis,Scoliosis,Osteopenia,Chronic Constipation
Carpel Tunel Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder,
Depression & Anxiety

Methadone for Pain, Xanax for Anxiety, and more, of course.

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 12/6/2008 4:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, Pete's trip ... I do know what you mean. : ) rolleyes
Almost hmmmm intuitive?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16792
   Posted 12/7/2008 10:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Very good thread David, thank you for posting this. Yes, it is very difficult to try and remain positive and optimistic but somehow we have to for sanitys sake. I was one that said you seemed to have a good attitude about things even tho you have so much on your plate. I also stated having your head on about surgery or pretty much any surgery is half the battle.
Getting to spend time with my 3 yr old grandson is what makes this Granny tick. He is my reason to get up every day and plow on, even with pain. Yes, sometimes I have him and I am in alot of pain, but when I have him here I am so enthralled with him, I guess I am capable of disassociating myself from the pain somewhat because I am so in tune with him.  We have sword fights, throw rocks art the fence, play games, anything I can possibly do. He knows his Granny is limited in some things and he truly understands. Once in a while if a moan escapes from me, this little guy looks at me and says "it will be ok Granny, I will rub your back". I love this child more than I can ever put in words. What a doll he is. He just totally melts me, I am putty in his little hands. This child has a vocabulary that would knock your socks off. Even strangers will stop in a restaurant when they hear him talking.
I remember the months of laying in a bed in pain and doing nothing. Any job I do and complete, no matter how small or it may sound trivial to someone else, it makes me feel good. Medication and a good physcologist helped me in this area alot. I think learning to accept my limitations and not dwelling on what I use to be able to do has helped more than anything. I had a surgeon tell me not long ago that people that dwell on what they use to be able to and can't do now end up becoming very bitter if they are not careful. I believe him. This Granny will do, try pretty much anything to stay up on her feet no matter what.,lol
I have a pain pump and just lost my pm dr and I really have worried over this. He did refer me to a new one thank goodness. He told me its nearly impossible to get a new pain dr to take over an existing pump patient. They don't tell you this when they put the pump in either. Pam gave me some good advice about this situation and I am very grateful to her.
Pete how perceptive you are on on describing our forum these days. Back when I first came to the CP forum I also belong to the crohns forum, we did have a family type feeling then. Alot of members have moved on and so few of the oldies are left. These forums are for everyone not a select group for sure. We have many members not yet confirmed with crohns or finally crohns
ruled out and we beg them to stay and they want to because we have become a family on our forum and they are welcome anyway. Its not that attitude on CP forum and should be and I don't know where its written they have to have CP to be on the forum. I really hate to see a forum be that way too. Sorry I too am not trying to hijack David's thread.
I am still in the learning process and hope I stay that way. I feel when I stop learning about CP I will really be in trouble. Susie 

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 12/8/2008 3:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

I am glad to see some of you have posted and I hope for those how have not posted I hope you have been able to get ideas to keep the blues away.

They I must agree that my 3 kids are a very good way to forget the pain. They know when I am sore and also understand that dad cannot always do the things I did in the past. But as I used to be a workaholic working on average over 100 hours a week. I now have seen my kids grow up and it has been good to even the little things like picking them up from kinder or school. But even with all the problems with my back it has shown me that I needed to slow down and that my family is more important than work will ever be.

Thanks for the post guys and I look forward to seeing more.


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 12/8/2008 3:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi David & All,
With all my manic good chirpy ideas in my last post, I do have terrible depression with
my chronic pain.
I fight the depression. I don't like this time of year. Everybody in the real, painfree world
is so dam happy, & gay. (Well, I don't know that they're all gay. Just some) They are
right jolly old elves.
I get plenty depressed. My husband and I fight more. Tomorrow, I'll go check out my list.

Hope to see more posting from you all.

Post Edited (Pamela Neckpain) : 12/8/2008 7:16:28 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 12/8/2008 6:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Pamela,

Trust me you are not alone. When I have the 8’s and above my whole family suffer due to me being in a bad mood and snapping at everything.

People without pain cannot fully understand this includes Doctors, The people who do understand are the people who use forums like this and we can help each other.

I had to laugh with one of NS I went to as he told me he had a back surgery due to when he stood up he would get a pinching pain down his leg that would last 3 – 4 minutes, and he would get up about 20 times a day so he could understand my pain. Then he said for me just to forget about the pain and return to my out job and to take some antidepressants. It just shows how some doctors understand they have pain and get it fixed, yet someone else in pain it must be that we are looking for a way out of work or just need the attention.

The best thing to do is try not to worry and look forward Christmas with your grandkids at 2 and 4 Santa can do anything and usually brings every-thing. If you cannot see them, give them a ring and ask them are they looking forward to Santa coming? Trust me they will take your mind off the pain and put Christmas in whole new light. I know my kids cannot wait they are counting down the sleeps and they are worrying about how Santa will be get in the house to deliver the presents.

My daughter who is 5 has been sending Santa letters all year and she loves it when Santa replies.

I hope you have less pain today and remember give the grandkids a call.


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 12/8/2008 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Yep David, those two little girls make me happy.
I will be seeing them.
One is just turning four BEFORE Xmas and
I bought her a dollhouse taller than her.
It's fairly easy to make all their dreams come true at this age.
I'll see her several times before her big days.
I will muddle through. You will. We will. They will ...
Have a day, man!
Pamela yeah

Post Edited (Pamela Neckpain) : 12/8/2008 7:18:12 AM (GMT-7)

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/8/2008 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Great thread
I have suffered with depression and anxiey over my ilnesses

I try to saty in the moment and keep myself as busy as possible
NOT letting this all get me down

I bike ( even with fibro) and I also love to garden ..........

I especailly like coming to the forums to give support and keep my mind off of me
'Turning on the television ( news ) there is always someone worse off than I ..........

THanks again for ter thread have gotten some great ideas.............LYN
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at
    CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            ~ FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE ~
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16792
   Posted 12/8/2008 11:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I think for many people the holidays are not the brightest and cherriest they can be. Some folks just have a tendancy to become blue during the holidays. I love the holidays, but I am one of those people that really get down even w/my chill pill. My daughter starts reminding me in Oct to remember not to get down during the holidays that they are coming up. She knows how much I love them but sometimes I just get lower than a snakes belly. I did this long before CP set in, so it doesn't just apply to CP people.
There is far too much commercialism in the holidays, we spend money we really don't have, or we charge it, and its just stressful just based on money alone. In previous yrs I spent lavishly, but I also got one hell of a Christmas bonus, lots of money. Now, over the past few yrs I have really scaled it back, at first I felt guilty. This year we have all made an agreement to buy for the little ones only, because my kids are like everyone else, living the American dream struggling to raise a family and broke.
I would much rather have something homemade over a store bought gift, some good yummy treats are very much appreciated at my house. I do bake alot during the holidays, I usually have about 3-4 days of baking nothing but goodies. It takes me all day when I do this because I have to stop & rest alot but thats ok, I get it done, then I really feel good because I completed something.
Thank you Dave for starting this thread. Susie

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 12/10/2008 7:38 AM (GMT -6)   
My Dear David,
This is the one of the best posts I have ever seen. I've been around the block too! When I read Pamalneckpain's reply with all those distractions she wrote I wanted to print it. I'm out of paper darn it anyway. Being busy and distracted is one of the best ways I have to ease the pain after 35 years of neck and back pain just getting worse. The pain pill route didn't work for me. Can't tolerate the side effects of narcotics. I would really like to type more now and have good ideas as well, but alas, i've been sitting here too long and need heating pad now for a bit.
Some people say I have a quick WIT and I like to KNIT thus knitwit
Maybe I should change my screen name LOL
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