Dealing with physical pain is difficult enough, but physical pain can also lead to emotional pain. Chronic pain has psychological impacts. The brain reacts differently to short-term pain and to long-term pain. Chronic pain can change the central nervous system (CNS), influencing emotions, senses, and other circuits in the body.

Negative Feelings

Pain can change how you are able to do daily activities. You might not be able to work, go out with friends, or take care of your kids. These changes in activity level can bring on feelings of depression or anxiety.

Sometimes, people will look to self-medicate with substances like alcohol or other drugs. These temporarily mask the pain, but when the good feelings wear off, the discomfort returns.

Symptoms of depression can include:

  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Sadness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleep changes
  • Appetite changes
  • Self-isolation
  • Feelings of low self-worth

Talking to a professional about anxiety or depression can help. Chronic pain can trigger episodes of depression in people who have never had one before. You might also feel guilty about not being able to do what you used to do, and those feelings can be overwhelming. Just like talking to a doctor about your physical pain, it’s important to talk with someone about your mental health.

Sleep Changes

Pain can keep you from sleeping or wake you up while asleep. Not getting enough sleep can cause problems focusing during the day. Insomnia can cause mood issues.

Lack of sleep can also make other medical conditions worse. It can cause digestive and other problems. Not sleeping enough can also make anxiety or depression worse.

Focus and Memory

Pain can also impact memory and ability to focus. The CNS changes can interfere with processing and storing information in the brain. The pain can also distract from tasks at hand, leading to issues focusing.


Pain might keep you from doing the things you enjoy, which could keep you away from the people you love and care about. Physical limitations can take their toll on relationships. You might be less patient with others because of your pain, which might hinder your interactions with others.

Coping Tips

Trying to deal with everything at once can be difficult. It is important to pay attention to your mental health as well as physical problems. Ignoring psychological pain can make physical pain worse.

Learn about your condition so you will be prepared for what might be coming. The fear of the unknown can be frightening. Meditation, talk therapy, and mindfulness can also help. Medication for insomnia, depression, or anxiety might be necessary.

The professionals at Arkansas Pioneer Chiropractic can help treat your chronic pain without surgery. Contact them today to start yourself on the road to recovery.