(This article was first printed in the September 2004 issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter. For more information or to order, please go to http://www.health.harvard.edu/mental.)The following is an excerpt that sounds very much like my own chronic pain and resulting depression/inability to focus on anything but constant physical pain in my ears mouth and jaw: (Read whole article by clicking here.)
The convergence of depression and pain is reflected in the circuitry of the nervous system. In the experience of pain, communication between body and brain goes both ways. Normally, the brain diverts signals of physical discomfort so that we can concentrate on the external world. When this shutoff mechanism is impaired, physical sensations, including pain, are more likely to become the center of attention. Brain pathways that handle the reception of pain signals, including the seat of emotions in the limbic region, use some of the same neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of mood, especially serotonin and norepinephrine. When regulation fails, pain is intensified along with sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety. And chronic pain, like chronic depression, can alter the functioning of the nervous system and perpetuate itself.
Filed under: Tennessee | Tagged: can't complain constantly, cannot concentrate due to pain, chronic pain, chronic pain is depressing, constant pain, constantly focused on my pain, death, depression, dying slowly, ears hurt bad all the time, failure, fatigue, feel pathetic, focused only on physical pain, Harvard Mental Health Letter, hate, it hurts bad, lack of concentration, mind-numbing physical pain, mouth hurts, need relief, no concentration from ringing in ears, pain never goes away, pain no one can see, painful death daily, please God, ringing in the ears, self esteem, severe depression, sick of being forced to focus on physical pain, sleep patterns, suicide, tinnitis, used to be sharp smart funny |