Anxiety & Body Pain

Arthritic and Fibromyalgia

Arthritis is a condition characterized by severe pain in the joints and the tissue connecting them.

Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by an a wide range of aches and pains all over of the body of no apparent cause. A study in the journal of clinical psychiatry found that people with anxiety disorders were almost seven times as likely to experience fibromyalgia.

Migraines

Migraines are not like normal headaches; they are marked by severe pain in one or more sides of the temple, and may last up to two days. Studies have shown that migraines are often comorbid conditions in people with anxiety disorders.

Complications

Severe body pain oftentimes exasperates anxiety disorders or other mental illnesses. It can make people more depressed and negative, which in turn makes the anxiety disorder even harder to treat. It also can give those suffering a poorer quality of life.

Treatment

The standard treatment for these disorders in medication. When selecting a medication, a psychiatrist may choose one which relieves anxiety as well as severe pain, such as a low dosage of an selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Often times, the pain is a result of anxiety and stress, and simply treating the anxiety disorder will cause the pain to reduce and diminish.

Alternative Treatment

Several alternative treatments are known to be effective for mental illnesses and anxiety disorders. Some of them include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a type of therapy that aims to replace problematic negative thinking with positive, self-affirming thinking. Another is neurofeedback, a therapy that monitors brainwaves and attempts to promote more relaxed, positive brainwaves. These therapies are not specificity for severe pain management, but, they often help with pain because in people with anxiety disorders the pain is almost always a direct result of anxiety. Chronic anxiety disorders are unhealthy for the body as well as the mind. Holistic models of health believe that everything in the body and the mind are interrelated. It is no surprise then, that the persistent negative thinking characteristic of anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses can carry over and affect the body as well.