#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, #fibromyalgia, #happy, #Monday, BACK PAIN, CHRONIC PAIN, depression, FIBROMYALGIA, HEALTH, LIFE

HOW THE SIMPLE ACT OF WRITING CAN HELP YOU OVERCOME THE BLUES MANY OF US ARE SUFFERING FROM AT THE MOMENT…

With everything that is going on in the world today it is no surprise than many people are feeling low. The dark short and sunless days just add to a feeling of lowness.

Photo by Matej on Pexels.com

Obviously, it is certainly no surprise to read that people who suffer from chronic pain can also suffer from feeling depressed at times which will be worse at this time of year.

According to Happiful Magazine many of us are worried about someone’s mental health this Christmas. Happiful say that according to a survey of more than 2,000 UK adults by the Mental Health Foundation, over half (54%) are worried about the mental health of someone they know this Christmas. As we enter the festive season, significant numbers of people are expressing their concern for the mental health of relatives (38%), friends (31%), partners/spouses (27%) and children (28%).

With news of a vaccine, there’s a taster of hope on the horizon; two in five (42%) said they are feeling happy, hopeful or excited about the season. Yet, despite this, nearly a third (31%) reported feeling anxious or stressed as we approach Christmas.

So, now is the time for giving kindness to someone else be it a phone call, text message or what I have found has really cheered me up this year, an old fashioned letter. Research shows that an act of kindness demonstrates our concern for another’s vulnerability. It can help someone feel appreciated and has the power to reduce stress, improve mood, self-esteem and happiness.

It was my other half’s special birthday yesterday and I wanted to make it special for him so I contacted everyone I could think of to tell them he was celebrating a big birthday and asked if they had time on Sunday to get into contact with him.

He was completely overwhelmed with all the constant messages coming through on his phone, FaceTimes with friends and lots of good wishes from people on Facebook for him. He said it was the best birthday he has ever had and loved the surprises I had arranged for him. That simple act of kindness from people he knew made it very very special for him.

But I am sure many of you, like myself have written notes in your Christmas cards this year. I have a slight tremor in my right hand which means my writing is far from neat so I typed my messages out and popped them in with the cards. One of my friends wrote back with a long and newsy letter and I found out more from that letter this year than I have found out over the past 10 years. It made me want to write back straight away to give her more of my news and thank her for the lovely letter.

The post is expensive but an email letter can be just as nice. You can dress up your email to make it look pretty if you think it looks a bit business-like. After going through all my contact list for my husband’s birthday messages I made a note of many of them I only hear from once a year with a Christmas card as I plan to write each and every one of them all my news from over the last 12 months. I have even had a few pictures of my granddaughter printed to pop into some of them as unless they have a Facebook page will never have seen a picture of her.

Think of someone you know or someone you know are low at the moment or on their own and contact them somehow to make their day.

#BACKPAINBLOGUK, #covid-19, #COVID-19, #fibromyalgia, #nhs, #pain, CHRONIC PAIN, depression, HEALTH, Mental Health

FEELING EXHAUSTED ALL THE TIME ? IS YOUR BRAIN TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING?…

Many people suffering from any form of chronic pain suffer from lack of energy which can be caused by the pain they are in and also certain medications, but is your brain trying to tell you something ?

Lack of energy is one of the main symptoms of depression and combined with other symptoms like feeling down or hopeless, little interest or pleasure in activities you normally enjoy, feeling worthless or guilt, disrupted sleep, changes in appetite, problems concentrating or suicidal thoughts. Any or all of these can be a real sign that you may be suffering from depression.

I decided to highlight this during Mental Health Month. Many people suffering from chronic pain can feel alone especially with the COVID-19 virus putting in lockdown. This can then put many of us at a greater risk of depression and so it is essential you get help when you need it.

It is important that you talk to you GP first who may initially offer antidepressants but there is access to CBT ( Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which is well known to help with depression.

Light therapy can help especially during winter months but at the moment we have enough light and sun to give us adequate amounts to lift our spirits. Unfortunately not everyone has access to the fresh air and sun due to difficulty getting outside because of our condition so help for them is very important.

There are other tips to help boost your energy levels which can have a positive effect on how you feel. The classic tips are to avoid junk food, curb your alcohol intake, exercise for energy, cut down on caffeine, check your Iron intake and Vitamin D levels.

You are certainly not on your own with this you only have to look online starting with the NHS Every Mind Matters, and Mental Health.Org,

The Houston Press say “Mental health experts are predicting a second pandemic of sorts, an epidemic born from coronavirus worries and lockdowns.”

Therapy For You wrote “May is National Walking Month, where you’re encouraged to leave the motor at home and stretch your legs exploring every space the UK has to offer. Even just a 20-minute walk around your area can do wonders for your mental wellbeing, from helping you get more sleep at night to encouraging helpful hormones that boost positivity.”

Mind have a great article on how CBT works. “ CBT is usually a short-term treatment, so you wouldn’t be expected to continue with the treatment for a long time. For example, a course of CBT might be delivered in 12 hour-long weekly sessions, spread across 12 weeks. In some areas, you may be offered four sessions initially, with the opportunity for more if you need them.“Some research suggests that computerised CBT could be helpful for some people, although it’s not yet known how well it works.”

Whatever is available you first need to speak to your GP about how you are feeling and he will point you in the right direction.

#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, #fibromyalgia, #pain, Back Pain, CHRONIC PAIN, depression, FIBROMYALGIA, Medication, nerve pain, NHS, pain, Uncategorized

DEALING WITH DEPRESSION WITH CHRONIC PAIN …

Depression is quite common with people suffering from chronic pain. I mean who wouldn’t feel a bit low when trying to cope with constant pain but there is help out there to deal with this type of depression. Research shows that some of these antidepressants may help with some kinds of long-lasting pain.

Web MD state that Doctors don’t know exactly why antidepressants help with pain. They may affect chemicals in your spinal cord — you may hear them called neurotransmitters — that send pain signals to your brain. 

It’s important to note that antidepressantsdon’t work on pain right away. It can be a week or so before you feel any better. In fact, you may not get their full effect for several weeks.

After my second spinal surgery I was put on a very low dose of an antidepressant which I took over a period of 20+years. I am still on this antidepressant ( Prozac) even though over the many years I haven taken it there have been numerous articles on the pros and cons of taking it for so long. In fact, only last year the Professor of Medicine whom I call my Medicine Man who I see on a regular basis, suggested that maybe I should stop taking it.

I started with reducing it to one every other day and had no ill effects except that I wasn’t feeling as perky as I usually am. I put it down to the fact that at that time last year I ways constantly going back and forth to stay at my Dads so that I could go and be with him in hospital. He was in three months and my sister and I would do three week shifts of going in for most of the day over a period of three weeks then coming home for a rest. Sadly Dad passed away in hospital by which stage I had already started increasing my drug to nearly what I had been on before as I had an even bigger reason for feeling low.

On the NHS website they say that even though a type of antidepressant called tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) weren’t originally designed to be painkillers, there’s evidence to suggest they’re effective in treating chronic (long-term) nerve pain in some people.

Chronic nerve pain, also known as neuropathic pain, is caused by nerve damage or other problems with the nerves, and is often unresponsive to regular painkillers, such as paracetamol.

Amitriptyline is a TCA that’s usually used to treat neuropathic pain. I also take this for my neuropathic pain and it also helps me to sleep better.

We are all different and try to deal with chronic pain, stress and even loss in different ways but for me personally I felt this one little pill I took every morning worked for me. When I went back for my review with my Medicine Man I told him what I had been through and said I felt for me personally it was one drug I would like to continue taking indefinitely if he felt that was safe. He said that every single person will have different views and reactions to different types of antidepressants but if I had found one that I truly felt helped me ‘feel good’ every day no matter what I was going through then he was happy for me to take it indefinitely.

I know there are lots and lots of alternative things to try for any type of depression from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to Group Therapy and much more but I do feel that some people are nervous of taking medication on a long term basis but if that works for you, then why not.

Try everything that is available to you and when you find something that works for you then stick with it even it is taking a daily dose of medication. Feeling low and depressed is awful and most people in chronic pain must feel that at some stage but life really is to short to feel that way on a daily basis so why not try something just for you to help you feel better on the outside even if the pain on the inside is still there.

Some great websites and organisations that can help with chronic pain and depression are Away With Pain.

BLB Solicitors have a long list with links to UK support and help with depression from pain. The NHS also has details on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the UK and how to find a therapist.