Do depressed people experience more physical pain – or less?

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Pain and the problems it causes can wear you down over time and affect your mood. Chronic pain causes a number of problems that can lead to depression, such as trouble sleeping and stress. Disabling pain can cause low self-esteem due to work, legal or financial issues. Depression doesn’t just occur with pain resulting from an injury. It’s also common in people who have pain linked to a health condition such as diabetes or heart disease.

Key Takeaways:

  • Recent global burden of disease surveys tell us that pain and depression are two of the most common and pervasive issues in modern society.
  • Less intuitive, perhaps, is the suggestion that depression might cause a change in pain, rather than result from it.
  • We conducted a meta-analysis of these studies to try to better understand reasons for the variation in findings.

“For ischemic inductions, depressed people reported significantly more pain compared to controls (reduced pain threshold and tolerance).”

Do depressed people experience more physical pain – or less?