Pain and depression are two of the most common health issues facing seniors, and there is considerable evidence that the conditions may be closely linked. While it’s not clear whether pain is caused by feelings of depression or vice versa, it’s important that senior care providers recognize the relationship between the two.
Persistent pain can seriously take a toll on a senior’s mood, according to the Mayo Clinic. For instance, chronic pain can cause problems sleeping and increase stress levels, both of which are known to raise the risk of depression. Pain can be caused by a variety of conditions ranging from injury caused by a fall to migraines to diabetes, so it’s important that senior caregivers be vigilant.
The reason pain and depression are so closely linked is largely due to the fact that the two feelings originate in the same area of the brain. In fact, the two feelings share chemical messengers, notes the Mayo Clinic.
Senior care providers can help reduce both pain and depression. In addition to medication, stress reduction techniques and staying physically active have proven to help treat both conditions. Not only that, but providing companionship can help reduce depression and other mood issues caused by loneliness.