Can Depression Increase Pain Perception?

In the United States, nearly 60 percent people who commit suicide are depressed and nearly 3.4 percent of majorly depressed individuals commit suicide. What is the role of pain perception in causing these deaths? Is pain a pure mental or physical phenomenon?

According to the research study carried out by experts at the University of Oxford, pain is a mix of of both body and mind responses.

What Research Learnt About Pain Perception?

  • It is a known fact that pain and depression go hand in hand, however, the mechanism behind this event is not understood yet.
  • The researchers used brain imagining techniques on healthy volunteers to learn the interaction between pain and feeling low.
  • The study found that the brain in depressed state processess pain more emotionally which makes it even more unpleasant.
  • It happens because negative thoughts disrupt segments of neurocircuitry that regulates emotions.
  • Researchers suspected that the ability to regulate depressed thoughts is lost by the brain when it is in a sad state.
  • In such a state of mind, pain is felt even more intensely as depression becomes a driving cause of it from being just a consequence.

Significance of the Research on Pain Perception:
There are no laboratory tests for depression. The average age group mostly affected with this mental disorder is 20-40 years.

The study results indicate that depressed mood can cause maladaptive changes in brain function while it deals with pain. A sad mood can itself be a target for pain treatment using psychotherapy or drugs. Further research will now be carried out on chronic pain patients who commonly experience depression.

It is essential that young people develop awareness about research findings like these which are of immense relevance in the daily life. Poping pills to address disorders and ailments does not provide a safe solution every time.

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