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Chronic pain

To suffer from chronic pain can be extremely debilitating through a combination of physical disability, relationship difficulties, financial loss and significant depression. Many don’t seek medical advice and up to half may self-medicate with over the counter medication, illicit drugs or alcohol. Some will reach the desperate point of considering suicide.

Of those treated for it, up to two thirds will continue to experience at least some chronic pain and the effective treatment of depression and anxiety is essential to improving the outcome. A holistic assessment of the patient’s needs is necessary. Finally, although many questions remain, there is now better understanding of the neural pathways involved. This helps in the choice of medication that can potentially improve mood and anxiety, as well as reduce pain.