Why is this link so strong? Most researchers believe the stress of dealing with chronic pain can lead to depression. Others hypothesize that some chronic pain syndromes, including fibromyalgia, are actually the same disorder as depression, but with different manifestations or symptoms. Chronic widespread pain may be your body’s way of expressing the same imbalance or disturbance as tearfulness, inability to focus, and negative thinking (psychological expressions of depression).
When people suffer from both chronic pain and depression, chances of recovery decrease from almost 50% to under 10%. In addition, opioid drugs often used to treat pain disorders, can contribute to or even possibly cause depression. Whether this is due to some reaction in the brain, or the overall “dampening effects” of narcotic pain medications is unknown, but the relationship between narcotic use and depression is well known and documented.
As many depression sufferers have known, SSRI’s or other “traditional anti-depressant medications” have limited if any benefit for long-term relief. Whatever relief happens takes a heavy toll on your brain and body. Unwanted side effects include weight gain and reduced libido. In addition, there are physical, or somatic symptoms of depression, including pain and fatigue. A recent study, performed by researchers from multiple universities around the country, found most antidepressant medications (i.e. SSRI’s) were not effective for these somatic symptoms of depression such as fatigue and pain. They hypothesized that these symptoms stemmed from a different area of the brain than did the “psychological” symptoms of depression, such as difficulty concentrating and feelings of sadness.
One thing all the professionals can agree on is the need for a comprehensive program to treat both pain and depression. Ketamine fills that need. As a pain relieving treatment, it has been in widespread use for over a decade. More recently, the benefit to people suffering from depression has been shown over and over.
Here at Ketamine Wellness Centers, we have been treating people for pain AND depression with great success in both areas. The infusion treatments provide relief for pain and depression. We also offer additional individual and group counseling services to assist people in addressing personal issues and providing valuable coping techniques and strategies to maximize the remission achieved with Ketamine therapy.
Call us to see if our unique, comprehensive program finally solves both challenges and gives you the relief you are seeking from both psychological and physical pain. There is hope. There is help. Call 855-KET-WELL.
Dr. Ellen Diamond is a Clinical Psychologist at Ketamine Wellness Center’s Inc.