The majority of senior citizens must accept some changes in their lives even though some of them might not be prepared for such changes. Of course, there are some changes that are quite natural and they don’t require a long time to be adopted, but there are some things that simply can’t be accepted and left because they affect the everyday life of the elderly. Depression and chronic pain are good examples of these changes.
As you are probably aware, chronic pain and depression in the elderly are conditions that are not uncommon, but this doesn’t make them natural parts of the process of aging. In addition, several scientific studies have confirmed that depression and chronic pain are closely related to one another.
Namely, it is not unusual for depression to intensify pain while pain can slow down depression recovery from many mental issues including depression. Generally speaking, dealing with depression and chronic pain at any age can be quite difficult. When they occur at the same time, they can cause many difficulties in our lives especially when we are old.
The link between these two conditions includes different factors. For instance, they use the same chemical pathways and neurotransmitters. It is a well-known fact that depression can sometimes be a result of the consequences of chronic pain like lack of exercise, lack of socialization, loss of sleep etc.
Besides the well-known reaction of our body, chronic pain can trigger emotional reactions that lead to irritability, aggression, anxiety, and agitation. If we are talking about “ordinary” pain, these reactions are only temporarily and they go away when the pain is gone. But, when people are dealing with chronic pain, these feelings remain and lead to more serious complications. Anxiety, anger, mood swings, social isolation, irritability, stress, confused thinking – these are just some of these emotional reactions that can eventually lead to depression.
What is good in this situation is that the fact that chronic pain and depression are connected means that they can be treated at the same time too. The first step to solving this issue is to talk to the doctor. Children should visit their parent’s doctor together and find out how they can help them overcome this problem. By following the tips and advice of the physician, the elderly should be able to ease the symptoms and even completely get rid of these issues.