Injury-Related Depression and Addiction

Suffering a serious injury will often affect people in ways they don’t expect. Individuals with no history of mental illness may develop major depression after an injury that changes their way of life. Dealing with chronic pain and a stressful lifestyle can dampen a person’s mood, and without healthy ways to treat depression it may lead to painkiller abuse and addiction. You can treat both of these problems simultaneously, but you will need specialized treatment to do so.

How Injury-Related Depression May Lead to Addiction

After recovering from a serious injury, chronic pain may be a factor for long-term recovery. Doctors may prescribe painkillers without properly screening patients for potential substance addiction, or without adequately explaining the dangers of painkiller abuse. When a patient is overwhelmed by the emotional and physical stress of an injury, depression is common, and increases the susceptibility to addiction.

Chronic pain and depression affect similar parts of the brain. Serotonin and norepinephrine affect both pain and mood, which leads to physical manifestations of depression or increased injury-related depression. Long-term pain related to an injury may actually come from stress and depression, and depression after an injury may be magnified due to pain.

People experiencing injury-related depression may feel how painkillers improve their moods and physical pain, so people may abuse pain medication for these effects. This can quickly lead to dependence and addiction. While painkillers may initially numb emotional pain, over time addiction leads to rebound depression and mood swings. Addiction can be physically debilitating and prevent full recovery from an injury, leading to even greater financial problems and stress.

How to Prevent Injury-Related Depression and Addiction

If you are concerned about your painkiller use, talk to your doctor about alternative treatment for injury-related pain and depression. Mild exercise, yoga, journal writing and antidepressants are all options for safe pain relief and depression treatment. Tricyclic antidepressants are also effective for chronic pain management, and may alleviate injury-related pain and depression. Getting a full night’s sleep may reduce anxiety and depression and make recovery from injury easier.

Find Treatment for Injury-Related Depression and Addiction

If you are suffering from depression or addiction due to an injury, call us now. Our trained counselors can answer your questions about addiction and help you find integrated treatment that will meet your needs. Call us now as our helpline is toll free and available 24 hours a day. Seek professional help today and get well.