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Pain Concern
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Do other CRPS sufferers feel almost bipolar in their attitudes?

I have always had chronic pain since I was eight years old, but more so in my teenage years I have been having real issues with severe manic depression and altered moods. I work 40 hour weeks, to try and take my mind off it, but I really am struggling keeping a consistent mood/attitude. It's mostly down I'm feeling. Seeing a psychologist and pain management but no help there :(

5 Replies

Do you have Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome or do you suffer from chronic pain, your post did not make it clear.

CRPS has many psychological side effects with many a few years ago being diagnosed as bipolar although now it is recognised as a condition of the disease. Most CRPS suffers have a disassociation with the effected limb often feeling it has no connection to them or their body. Depression is a side effect of many chronic pain conditions, living in constant pain puts a strain on everyone that suffers and often medications that we take do not help.

I am glad you are getting help and hope that it will help you find a way to cope. In answer to your question you are not alone many of us who suffer from chronic pain suffer with depression and anxiety. I hope you have a pain manageable weekend and find lots to smile about.



'Almost bipolar' - that's certainly one way of looking at it. Sometimes I feel I can't cope whereas at other times, when I have a temporary ease from pain, I feel elated and bounce along. As nutty said, the depression due to pain can be a _real_ issue and you are cetainly not alone, there.

I'm impressed you work 40 hours a week to try and distract yourself from the pain. Distraction is important (it's my key pain management technique, too) but what do you do for pleasure or relaxation? Both are important - you have to look after yourself.

The film put out by Pain Concern recently is useful: try


I have chronic pain and often feel that I am like a manic depressive, as my moods fluctuate so much. When the pain is better, I'm fine and even happy and hopeful, when the pain is bad I'm depressed and don't want to live. But I have found that anti-depressants help – are you taking anything like this? I'm actually on 2 different kinds now (mirtazapine and sertraline), and find that has worked better than just one.

It's really hard not to be depressed when you have pain - I truly don't understand how that is possible - though I know there are some Buddhist monks who can do this! - apparently meditation and mindfulness practice helps.

I wish you luck - keep going with the pain psychologist, but if you find it's not helping, ask to see a different one.

- Kat


You are struggling to do something, no one can do. Life creates hundreds of different moods. You feel them and until you learn the experience of how to handle them you react to them badly.

Sleep has a great bearing on pain as well as mood. You need to investigate this for yourself. No psychologist can tell you how much sleep you need for a given series of life experiences. You must determine this for yourself. It will take time.

Severe manic depression can be a case of the brain shutting down to protect itself from overload. Pain causes the brain to work harder. The brain obeys the laws of physics and engineering. So if you over work it it will shut down leading to depression. You need to investigate this possibility and make observations on your lifestyle to see if you are doing things which cause it.

Much diagnosis is based on symptoms. Symptom diagnosis is not necessarily a diagnosis of cause.

Things which help observe yourself better is: taking lessons from an Alexander Teacher and learning meditation and mindfulness from Buddhist monks. If you know you are doing something that causes you injury you have the choice of changing. If you have no idea whether something you are doing is causing you injury or not, then you have no choice as to what the best course of action is.

Hope this helps


I've recently been diagnosed with crps in my wrist and I'm not the same person I was. I'm off work (5 months next week) and my mood has become negative and I get upset far more easily than I used to. I've just started at pain management, I'm going to counselling and I'm seeing occ health - hopefully I can start being more positive about beating crps. I do hope I can function better soon as it's my writing hand. You're not alone and it's totally understandable to feel low as it drags you down always being in pain but I hope someone can help you soon - keep percivering and something will help soon.


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