Physical Pain as it Relates to Depression

Somehow it’s all connected. Literally, it’s on my nerves. My depression comes with its own plethora of physical symptoms. Multiple types of headaches (tension, migraine, menstrual migraine, sinus, chronic daily, ice-pick, etc.), chronic neck pain/muscle spasms, weird aches, and menstrual irregularities. So, what on earth triggered all this??? The acupuncture physician said I had congested liver chi, and after a year of weekly visits, buckets of chinese herbs and many needles, it was still unresolved. I still had pain, and still had depression. He said I had unresolved issues. NO KIDDING. What exactly do you do when your life is out of your control? As in your ex and your teenager are pushing ALL your buttons? Lots of history there, and a child who is majorly acting out because of it. That is a few other posts in itself.

So, prior to acupuncture was twice a week chiropractic, which was going to solve all my pain and headaches by getting me correctly aligned, which was very important, because my cervical spine was already developing bone spurs and curving the wrong direction! Alas, after much cracking, ultrasound, electric stimulation, moist heat and traction, I still was not much improved.

Between chiropractic and acupuncture, it had been aggressive physical therapy with myofascial release, finding muscle trigger points that I could use counter pressure on to reduce tension and pain. It was painful.

OK, so after all this, I’m still in physical pain, and even more depressed, because all these “professionals” that assured me they could help have only helped a little, and only temporarily. Mostly I’ve been helped to empty my bank account.

So, besides antidepressants, I take other stuff to manage the muscle spasm pain and the headaches. I did another stint of physical therapy which was quite helpful because it involved a great deal of deep tissue massage of my neck/shoulders/upper back. This relieved soooo much pain it was unbelievable. But I had a $500 insurance deductible and $25 copays for each visit, and at two visits per week that adds up pretty fast. They also had a $2000/year limit on physical therapy services. The message is that the insurance company would rather pay for drugs because they are much less expensive…it’s not really about your health!

During the time of the physical therapy that included massage, I did not experience a single migraine headache. Not one. Relieving the neck muscle tension/spasms directly impacted the migraine frequency. I felt better, I coped with stress better. Beats taking pills. Anyone want to be my personal masseuse?

The point is, just like that obnoxious Cymbalta commercial, depression can hurt physically as well…it’s a brain disease, the brain is part of the nervous system that interprets/regulates pain signals. So it’s all connected. All these symptoms need to be addressed so depression can be effectively addressed. Getting physicians to coordinate this is a challenge as well. Hello, we are all on the same team, right? I just want to FEEL better, mentally and physically.

That really isn’t too much to ask, is it?

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