Many patients with LBP are depressed. It is a common occurrence and should be treated aggressively to avoid serious repercussions. Concomitant depression can be almost as disabling as LBP. In a study of 416 patients using a depressions scale (CES-CD), 18.3% of patients with chronic pain scored as clearly depressed, and 57% of the chronic pain patients studied had a major depressive episode in their lifetime. Coping with LBP as well as a major depression can be overwhelming for the patient. The nurse practitioner should be aware of the high incidence of depression with chronic pain and screen patients with chronic pain for depression so that both the depression and pain can be adequately treated.
Thie rate of suicide in patients with chronic pain is twice the rate of patients without pain (Tang & Crane, 2006). Patients need to be informed that depression is common with chronic pain and that antidepressant therapy can help the patients cope with the continuing pain. In order to make this interaction easier, the health care provider and the patient need to have a therapeutic relationship that allows them both to share their feelings and concerns so that an effective treatment strategy can be developed. No patient should ever feel that suicide is a good option to end pain.
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Are You Depressed? Heard the horror stories about anti-depressants and how they can just make things worse? Are you sick of being over medicated, glazed over and too fat from taking too many happy pills? Do you hate the dry mouth, the mania and mood swings and sleep disturbances that can come with taking a prescribed mood elevator?