The Pain of Clinical Depression

Many of us think of depression as a psychological condition. The causes of depression are sought in the person's childhood or in her personal circumstances as an adult. But within the last 10 or 20 years depression is increasingly being evaluated within a physiological context. Various disease states and physical disorders are being recognized as important contributors to depression. This viewpoint is empowering to persons with depression and often provides a way forward when progress has been minimal or absent.
Those with depression experience both physical and psychological pain. It is well-documented that chronic physical pain can lead to depression. Also, it is well-known that depressive states can cause physical pain. A feedback loop (vicious circle) is often created in which physical pain makes a person's depression worse and the person's depression makes the physical pain worse.
In addition, changes in brain physiology may cause a person to be depressed. In other words, abnormal electrical activity in the brain - which, of course, is not under the person's conscious control - may result in depression. The brain's electrical activity is evaluated by a method known as quantitative EEG (QEEG).1 For those with clinical depression, the QEEG often demonstrates too much slow-wave activity in the left front brain (prefrontal cortex) and too much fast-wave activity in the right prefrontal cortex.
For those with clinical depression, the light of the world is considerably dimmed. The mood of a depressed person is low and he loses interest in normally pleasurable activities. Depressive disorders interfere with a person's work and/or school activities, family life and social life, and overall health. Lack of energy, lack of appetite, and decreased physical activity are all associated with clinical depression.
An access to relieving chronic depression may be found in encouraging the person to begin to engage in physical activity.2,3 Such activity may be difficult for those who are severely depressed, and yet all persons with depression should be presented with this form of therapy.
Additionally, chiropractic care may be of great benefit for those with clinical depression. The pain relief and improved musculoskeletal function afforded by chiropractic care may help reduce the physical component of ongoing depression.
1Hargrove JB, et al: Quantitative electroencephalographic abnormalities in fibromyalgia patients. Clin EEG Neurosci 41(3):132-139, 2010
2Gill A, et al: Clinical Inquiries: Does exercise alleviate symptoms of depression? J Fam Pract 59(9):530-531, 2010
3Uebelacker LA, et al: Hatha yoga for depression: critical review of the evidence for efficacy, plausible mechanisms of action, and directions for future research. J Psychiatr Pract 16(1):22-33, 2010

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"I struggled with back pain for 4 years prior to seeking help for my Scoliosis. I decided after visiting Dr. Breidenbach that it was worth the financial commitment and time dedication to go through the CLEAR scoliosis treatment. My pain throughout the 4 years was more of an extreme discomfort and occasional immobilization from immense pain spikes. My biggest problems occurred when I was on my feet for long periods of time, sitting for too long, and any type of consecutive lifting. It was emotionally draining because no matter what stretches, exercises or methods I tried, nothing seemed to work.
My pain level now, after completing the 4 month treatment program and continuing my at-home protocol, is extremely low and very manageable. The only time I experience discomfort is after very long days on my feet, which still only results in minor soreness. I am so much happier and less stressed about everyday activities, and can do so much more than before. My Cobb angle also improved from 13.8 degrees down to 4 degrees (71% improvement).
I would suggest the CLEAR scoliosis Center of La Crosse to anyone that experiences pain and dysfunction with scoliosis. The whole staff was extremely kind and supportive, while also maintaining a high level of professionalism. I am so happy to have a normal life without the constant annoyance and discomfort of pain from scoliosis.

Megan