Pain is a complicated thing as symptoms cannot always be fully attributed to an organic origin for those suffering from depression. Dirk Frieser, psychologist at the Institute of Psychology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, notes in a recent Science Daily report that women are more frequently affected by depression and by the so-called somatoform pain disorder. Somatoform symptoms are those that cannot by fully explained in medical terms. Surprisingly, this is a widespread phenomenon. Frieser noted, “up to 80% of the symptoms reported in GP practices are somatoform. However, this does not mean that patients are simply ‘imagining’ that they have these symptoms.”
What Makes Pain “Real”?
For patients, these symptoms are very real and impair their quality of life. They often include pain symptoms in addition to other symptoms such as dizziness, sensations of hypersensitivity in various regions of the body, and even fatigue or exhaustion. The symptoms can also cause clinically relevant disorders requiring psychological treatment, including cognitive behavioral therapy. The results of this study indicate there is a significantly higher occurrence of somatoform pain in various body regions in patients with existing depression or those who have suffered depression in the previous 12 months.
As a result, it is very possible that those patients who report multiple pain symptoms to their doctors that cannot be explained in clinical terms are in fact suffering from a depressive disorder requiring treatment. When major depression is present, affected patients often exhibit dejection, despair, swings in appetite and body weight, insomnia or an increased need for sleep, tiredness, lack of energy and psychomotor disturbances.
Suicide has also been considered by these patients, sometimes quite frequently. As a result of this research, it has been determined that general practitioners identified pain was somatoform in 73% of cases and could only be fully explained in medical terms in 27% of cases.
What is Depression Treatment?
To combat depression and accompanying pain symptoms, depression treatment is available. It typically involves a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes. Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often prescribed to help manage symptoms. At the same time, therapy can uncover any underlying issues that may be contributing to depression. Lifestyle modifications may include increasing physical activity and improving sleep hygiene.
Health professionals may also suggest lifestyle changes such as journaling, relaxation techniques, and the avoidance of alcohol or drugs. Ultimately, depression treatment should be tailored to each individual’s needs. With a combination of treatments and changes to one’s routine, many people can effectively manage depressive symptoms.
It is important to discuss any concerns about medication with a health professional. During this time, be honest about any personal issues that may be impacting mood or behavior. It is also important to remember that depression treatment can take some time. Therefore, it’s essential to remain patient throughout the process. Furthermore, regular follow-up appointments with a doctor are usually recommended in order to monitor progress and adjust medication or therapy if needed. Depression is highly treatable, and with the right help, many people can find relief from their symptoms.
Depression Treatment at Promises Behavioral Health
At Promises Behavioral Health, we specialize in helping individuals suffering from depression. Our team of compassionate medical professionals has extensive experience in providing customized treatment plans. As a result, they can address the unique needs of each individual. We use a range of evidence-based therapies that can help people struggling with depressive symptoms to develop healthy coping skills and identify sources of stress that may be contributing to their condition. This includes a combination of individual counseling, group therapy, nutritional and lifestyle advice, and medication management. We also provide family support to help loved ones better understand the condition and provide support during recovery.
Our goal is to help individuals with depression find their way back to emotional stability and lead healthier lives. Contact us today at 844.875.5609 for more information about our depression treatment services.