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PainUPDATE: Link between Pain and Depression

Found in: News

Is there a link between pain and depression? Can depression cause physical pain?

Pain and depression are closely related. Depression can cause pain — and pain can cause depression. Sometimes pain and depression create a vicious cycle in which pain worsens symptoms of depression, and then the resulting depression worsens feelings of pain. In many people, depression causes unexplained physical symptoms such as back pain or headaches. This kind of pain may be the first or the only sign of depression. 

The debate between which one comes first (pain or depression) has been highlighted today by the article that appeared on written by Michael Vagg, Clinical Senior Lectuer at Deakin University School of Medicine & Pain Specialist at Barwon Health.   

Pain and the problems it causes can wear you down over time and affect your mood. Chronic pain causes a number of problems that can lead to depression, such as trouble sleeping and stress. Disabling pain can cause low self-esteem due to work, legal or financial issues. Depression doesn't just occur with pain resulting from an injury. It's also common in people who have pain linked to a health condition such as diabetes or heart disease. To get symptoms of pain and depression under control, you may need separate treatment for each condition. 

If you have pain and depression, get help before your symptoms worsen by speaking to our Chronic pain management  (STEPs Bentley) coordinator Jemma Norval on (08) 9458 0556 or email her on You can also contact our Infocus Counselling program on (08) 9458 0505 . You don't have to be miserable. Getting the right treatment can help you start enjoying life again.

By Nagib Ahmed